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Clayton Hotel development underway

A big redevelopment project is getting underway in the village of Clayton. The first pieces of equipment have been at work on the former Frink Snowplow Factory site in recent weeks. This represents the beginning of an aggressive construction schedule that aims to bring the Clayton Harbor Hotel to life by Memorial Day 2014.

Kristi Dippel, head of the Clayton Local Development Corporation, says it's gratifying to see all the planning on the project coming to fruition.

"After over 10 years that this has been in the making, and we finally have activity on site, it's definitely the talk on the street, it's the talk of the town. People are very excited to see something happening over there," she said.The four-story, 105-room hotel is being developed by the Buffalo-based Krog Corporation and Hart Hotels. Local officials are hoping the project will provide much-needed lodging in the area. The only other facilities are smaller, mom-and-pop operations and Dippel says many summer tourists who visit Clayton had been opting to stay in Watertown or Alexandria Bay.

This project is meant to draw people to Clayton and keep them there. Other municipal projects on the site aim to do that, too. There are 50 public, transient boat slips in the works in front of the hotel site, as well as improvements to an existing riverwalk there.

The hotel project is expected to bring about 90 full-time jobs to the area.