WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The new Williams Inn is set to open for business on Aug. 15, according to an announcement from the college to its community this week.
The opening will follow by two weeks the closure of the current inn on Field Park, which will shutter on July 31, the same announcement indicated.
In a follow-up email to iBerkshires.com, the college's associate vice president for finance and administration confirmed that the school still hopes to have Latham Street reopened in time for the town's Fourth of July parade, which traditionally goes from Southworth Street, up Main Street (Route 2) and down Spring Street, terminating near the public parking lot at the corner of Spring and Latham.
"The current plan is for all the road work and grounds improvement to be substantially complete in advance of the July 4th holiday and the roadway open for the festivities," Matt Sheehy wrote.
Spring Street south of the Walden Street intersection and Latham Street west of the Towne Field House parking lot have been closed to traffic since the beginning of the month. Road and construction work for the new inn has included the demolition of the former American Legion post at the bottom of Spring Street.
The new Williams Inn will open with 64 rooms and a 62-seat restaurant. The latter figure includes about 10 seats at the bar and two private dining spaces that will will hold 10 or 12 people each.
"In addition, during prime weather months, there will be additional outdoor seating," Sheehy wrote.
The inn will continue to be managed by the Waterford, Conn.,-based Waterford Hotel Group.
As for the two-week gap during which there will be no rooms at either the current 124-room inn or the new, smaller inn, Sheehy explained it is necessary to transition to the new property.
"There is a two-week gap, and this will allow for training, transition, etc. for the staff from the old inn to the new inn," Sheehy wrote.
The college believes that the town will have enough capacity to handle the height of the tourist season without either the old or new Williams Inn online -- particularly since the new Fairfield Inn by Marriott on Main Street (Route 2) should be open for business this summer.
"We have to have a transition period, and we feel that a two-week transition is manageable and appropriate," Sheehy wrote. "We feel comfortable with this approach since the new [Marriott] will be in full operation by this time based upon its current booking schedule.
"This will leave a minimal gap in the available rooms during this two-week time period of 20 to 30 rooms compared with last year at the same time. Once the new [Williams Inn] opens, the number of available room nights in town will increase compared to the current status quo.
"We also hope that this two-week gap results in business for other hotels/inns/motels in the region. We view this as a positive and not problematic."
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Controversial Williamstown Sporting Goods Store Proposal Withdrawn
By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
A proposal to site a sporting goods store on North Hoosac Road has been withdrawn because of vocal opposition.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Zoning Board of Appeals on Thursday avoided a decision on the most controversial issue it has faced this year.
But it did allow a resident to take advantage of the bylaw that resulted from the most contentious issue that faced another town board in the last 12 months.
Billy Preite withdrew his request for a special permit to operate a sporting goods store on North Hoosac Road, obviating the need for the board to continue a stormy public hearing that began in September.
In a letter to the board, Preite cited the hostility of those who objected to his proposal to open the store, which would have included a line of collectible firearms.
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