Destination Wedding

Longfellows Hotel in Saratoga is sold, set to close in January

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Longfellows Hotel, Restaurant & Conference Center, for decades a destination for dining, weddings and all manner of meetings in a century-old building that once was a dairy barn between the Northway and Saratoga Lake, will close in mid-January, according to a filing with the state Department of Labor.

A Longfellows representative confirmed the closure Wednesday morning but referred other questions to owner Stephen Sullivan. Sullivan declined comment other than to say an official announcement would be issued later Wednesday or on Thursday.

The business, owned by Sullivan since 1996, has been sold, according to three people familiar with the deal but not authorized to discuss it publicly. The buyer is a non-local company that intends to expand the 500 Union Ave. property into a resort, the sources said. Others involved in the Saratoga restaurant and real estate scenes said the new owners in recent months have toured Spa City hotels and event venues to better identify gaps in local offerings.

The final day of business will be Jan. 22, according to the filing with the state. New York’s WARN Act, short for Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, requires that businesses with more than 50 employees provide 90 days’ notice of the intention to close or institute large layoffs. Longfellows, with hotel accommodations, banquet facilities, meeting rooms and a restaurant, has a staff of 78, according to the filing, submitted Oct. 24.

The closure announcement affected an undetermined number of wedding parties and others who had long-standing reservations for events at Longfellows.

Among those shocked by the news were Jeremie Ackerman and Jessica Miller of Amsterdam, who earlier this year booked their June 2023 wedding at Longfellows. They found out they were suddenly without a venue last week, when a member of the wedding party tried to reserve overnight accommodations and was told they were no longer being accepted, Miller said Wednesday morning.

“It was very devastating,” Miller said. They could not change the date because their DJ, videographer and photographer were unavailable on other days, and as a result of a backlog of weddings postponed by the pandemic, venues able to accommodate a 100-person wedding next June were scarce, Miller said. They were able to reschedule, she said, for The Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls.

“I feel for the brides … (Longfellows has) screwed over,” Miller said.

Several local caterers and venues reported Wednesday having received frantic inquiries over the past week from other wedding parties displaced by the Longfellows closure.

Sullivan also owns the Olde Bryan Inn in Saratoga Springs, which started as an inn in 1773 and over the centuries has been a tavern, blacksmith shop, laundry and private home. Sullivan and partners reopened it as an inn and restaurant in 1981.