ALEXANDRIA BAY Once one of the most popular resorts along the St. Lawrence River and a pride of the community, Bonnie Castle Manor and Marina has been slowly deteriorating since its prime in the 1980s.
But the four family members who bought the 31 Holland St. resort from the former owner, Donald E. Cole, in May are determined to bring back that heyday glory to Alexandria Bay and are inviting the public to their grand opening ceremony Saturday afternoon.
The Garlocks and Lozos, we hope to bring the heartbeat back to the Thousand Islands, said Cathy Fiacco-Garlock, Alexandria Bay, co-owner of Bonnie Castle along with her husband, Craig S. Garlock, her sister Cindy M. Fiacco-Lozo, and her husband, Robert M. Lozo.
To get the word out that the resort is now ready for business, the new owners are throwing a celebration starting at 4 p.m. featuring live music and entertainment, free drinks, food and gifts.
Mr. Garlock, who also is the co-owner of Garlock Lumber & Hardware, Alexandria Bay, said the bulk of the work the hard part is almost over.
The partners started out with a vision, an extensive three-year plan to renovate the motel, Bonnie Castles restaurants, bars and marina; fix up the outdoor pool and build a new indoor pool, and ultimately make the facility an even more attractive location for weddings and large conferences.
Mr. Garlock said when everything is all done, the partners probably would end up investing close to $3 million in the property.
The sale price of the Bonnie Castle Manor and Marina properties was about $2.7 million, according to documents filed in the Jefferson County clerks office.
All four of us saw the potential here, Ms. Fiacco-Lozo said. To me, its the most beautiful place on the river.
So far, the driveway has been repaved; the motel has new fixtures, windows, air-conditioning units, flat-screen TVs, doors and beds; the restaurants have newly renovated kitchens and three new chefs from Antigua, Lake Placid and Switzerland and various other improvements have been made to the distressed property.
Bonnie Castle Resort has 129 rooms and its marina has 186 slips, Ms. Fiacco-Lozo said.
The facility also has several stages and dining areas for large events such as the Home of the Stars, which can serve 600 people at most, and the Crystal Dining Room for parties up to 165 people.
The new owners have renovated the Pointe Bar and Grill, the former Rum Runner, as well. Immediately outside the bar, a new dock has been added to the casual hangout and dining area. Also in the works is a small new outdoor stage by the water. Side curtains for the party barge near the Pointe Bar will be installed soon.
Everywhere in the resort, visitors will have high-speed Internet access thanks to the Wi-Fi routers recently installed, Ms. Fiacco-Lozo said.
She said a lot of the cosmetic work, as well as the proposed construction of a new lounge at the motel, will be completed over the winter after the tourist season dwindles down.