LAKE GEORGE, New York— Fort William Henry Hotel and Conference Center in Lake George, New York, began work this month to transform its historic Carriage House into a new event venue for business meetings, receptions and other programs.
When it opens in May 2023, The Carriage House will accommodate 460 people in theater-style seating and more than 300 people for banquets. The space will feature vaulted ceilings, post-and-beam construction and a wraparound deck overlooking Lake George.
Fort William Henry’s rentable space for meetings and weddings will grow to more than 16,000 square feet across four distinctive venues, including the recently renovated Conference Center, which can hold 400 people theater-style and 250 banquet style; the White Lion Room, which offers views of Lake George and can seat 150 for banquets; and the Village Blacksmith restaurant and Tankard Taverne, both smaller venues with distinctive food and beverage offerings.
In addition to receptions and business meetings, the Carriage House will continue to host the Lake George Music Festival, stage productions and other community events.
The project is part of a major reinvestment in the historic 18-acre Fort William Henry, the oldest resort on Lake George. Fort William Henry has invested $5 million to create premium rooms and renovate the rooms and public areas of its Grand Hotel and to overhaul its hotel kitchen and bar; $3 million to transform the Carriage House; and $1 million to renovate the Conference Center. The resort sold its Best Western Hotel at Exit 20 in Lake George in 2021 and has been investing the $4.6 million in proceeds in the Grand Hotel and conference center on Canada Street.
“What we really are investing in is the extraordinary beauty of Lake George,” said Fort William Henry Chairwoman and CEO Kathryn Flacke Muncil. “There is no place on Earth like Lake George. We are so fortunate to be stewards of this lake and this historic property.”
Sam Luciano, president of Fort William Henry Corp., said customer demand for business meetings and conferences has rebounded strongly post-pandemic. The Carriage House and the surrounding Fort property offer guests options to socialize both inside and outside, Luciano said.
The first Fort William Henry Hotel opened in 1855. Its Carriage House sheltered the horses and carriages of visitors who reached the resort by primitive roads and, from the 1880s, by rail. Later, the Carriage House was used for an early car rental business that allowed visitors who arrived by train to rent cars and tour the Adirondacks. Over the years, the building has also housed Fort William Henry employees and equipment and, since the 1970s, under the name Towers Hall, it has served as a special event space for musicals, plays and concerts.
Fort William Henry engaged HBT Architects of Rochester. BBL Construction Services Inc. of Albany will undertake the renovations.
For more information, visit fortwilliamhenry.com.