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Tailwater Lodge to bring more dollars, attention to Salmon River

The village of Altmar attracts anglers of all types who fish along the Salmon River, known for its Chinook and Coho salmon and steelhead trout. But one Syracuse-based real estate developer is hoping the river will attract dollars as well.

The Woodbine Group is renovating the Altmar Elementary School, which closed last year, and plans to turn the two-story building and its 35 acres of land into a 42-room hotel and fishing resort. Tom Fernandez is the company's director of business development. He says the hotel will cater to amateur and professional anglers with an onsite pro shop and private fishing space along 1,700 feet of the Salmon River.

"The Pulaski area into Altmar is one of the best destinations for fishing in the Northeast," Fernandez said. "We have incredible runs of King salmon, Coho salmon and winter-run steelhead, as well as some summer-run Atlantic salmon. So it is one of probably the best places to fish in the Northeast."

Credit Gino Geruntino/WRVO
Work continues on the inside of the former Altmar Elementary School. The school is being transformed into a 42-room hotel, with a bar, restaurant and pro shop.

He says the hotel could be a haven for not only fishermen, but business travelers and vacationers.

"We feel that it will be a nice offering for people who are traveling from either Watertown or Syracuse, and a little bit farther south or north, that are looking for something that's not too far away, but a little bit of a getaway," Fernandez said.

This is not the Woodbine Group's first reclamation project. The Genesee Grande and the Parkview Hotels in Syracuse are two of the company's prior renovations, and were at one time the Mayflower Apartments and a former medical arts building, respectively.

The school was purchased in March and renovations began in May. Although the company had hoped to open by now to hit the peak fishing season, the project is still about four weeks away from completion.