Latham hotel developer gets tax break

"We look forward to being a integral part of the community, and we are creating a lot of jobs right now," said John Grabau, a consultant with ADD.

The firm estimates that, in two years, the revamped facility will create 54 new jobs and put the busy corner back on the tax roles. The new facility will be the latest in national design standards of the hotel chain, said Grabau.

However, the firm's numbers were unsubstantiated, said new agency board member Ken Champaign. For one, Champaign said, the revenue that the firm based the tax breaks on was assuming the hotels would be at full capacity, rather than the standard 60 percent occupancy rate in the town. He also questioned how many new workers would be be employed at the hotel, taking into account that the same company could be closing the Holiday Inn down Route 9 and essentially bringing those jobs to the new site.

Champaign said the tax relief application, which had been before the IDA in December, seemed "pushed through" and was acted on with "very little oversight," he said.

Despite his concerns, Champaign and the five IDA members present, voted in favor of the tax break.

Grabau said that the firm would like to have construction completed by the 2008 Saratoga track season, he said.""

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