Our Work | Roedel Companies
Roedel Companies selected an iconic grand hotel in the Adirondacks for an extensive hotel renovation. Hotel Saranac, built in the heart of Saranac Lake, N.Y., was opened with much fanfare in 1927, but had fallen into disrepair by the time Roedel Companies purchased the property in 2013. While many people in the village, including local press, welcomed the rebirth of the hotel as a much-needed economic driver and community hub, there was some skepticism when timelines to complete the project were extended. Additionally, Roedel Companies became embroiled in a lawsuit against the village that effectively blocked the start of a competing hotel project. Another challenge was to control messaging; members of the Roedel family, which has ties with Saranac Lake dating back three generations, still maintained a home in the area and were often sought out for statements.
A content calendar was first developed to ensure a steady flow of project information would help maintain enthusiasm with the general public. Press releases and feature pitches were key content elements in that calendar. A protocol was established to ensure media inquiries were responded to with official company responses. When the mayor of the village made critical public statements regarding the company’s legal action against the village, talking points were developed to guide the response of company spokespeople to anticipated media questioning. An Op/Ed piece was also written and published in the local newspaper to counter the criticism in a controlled and thoughtful way.
Special events were staged to continue building favorable public perception and counter any negative media articles or public frustration with extended building timeline. Among them:
A lighting event was held to celebrate the return of the Hotel Saranac sign that sits atop the hotel roof. The sign, a signature feature of the village landscape, was refurbished offsite and remounted. The event was held during a popular winter carnival and the mayor was invited to flip the switch. His positive comments about the hotel and images of him at the event were shared on social media and nicely offset his past critical comments.
As its neared its final stage of construction, a tour of the hotel was given to media members, as well as representatives from the local chamber and historical society. Content produced from that tour included three favorable front page newspaper articles, two in-depth radio features and a 6:00 news feature on a regional television station. The articles were shared on social media channels, gathering even more positive conversation.
As the final members of the hotel’s leadership team were put in place, a Meet the Team event was staged for approximately 100 prominent members of the community. In addition to hotel leaders, key members of Roedel Companies came in from New Hampshire, including company founder Fred Roedel Sr.