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You are here You are here The Red Mill Inn News 2007 News 2006 Archive - Story  Story

Baldwinsville mill's new life as inn to begin in May

By Tom Leo, Staff writer
April 10, 2006
Baldwinsville mill's new life as inn to begin in May


The Red Mill Inn in Baldwinsville is scheduled to open May 4.

The 180-year-old former flour mill on Paper Mill Island still faces some minor renovations, but the exterior and interior of the structure are mostly finished. Last week, a sign went up on the front of the building.

"It's exciting," said Becky Beardsley, the inn's general manager.

"This is what we've been waiting for since we purchased the property," said Jay Bernhardt, co-owner of the inn with developer Jake McKenna.

The two bought the dilapidated mill about a year ago from Jim Orlando and Tom Potter for $700,000.

While the inn, which took about $2.3 million more to renovate, essentially is a new building, it kept the old mill's original timber framing. Developers followed most of the original footprint, making the structure virtually identical to what it was when it was built by Jonas Baldwin and John McHarrie from 1828 to 1831.

"It's an historic building and we felt it should be preserved," McKenna said when the mill was purchased. "Out of all the mills built up and down the river in this area, and there were almost 30 . . . it's the last one standing. It's been here since the village of Baldwinsville was created."

Beardsley said the May 4 opening is tentative, depending on the completion of remaining work and the arrival of furniture. But she's already taken 10 to 15 reservations for the first night, which also will feature a sneak preview and catered affair for about 100 invited local dignitaries. Sometime in June, there will be a grand opening event for the public, Beardsley said.

The Red Mill Inn already has booked some social events, such as wedding receptions and group meetings. It will target boaters who travel the Erie Canal system and business people who may use Paper Mill Island for weekday trade shows, McKenna said.

The inn will feature 32 hotel rooms and a conference room large enough for 150 people. There will be no restaurant or bar on the premises, although catering can be arranged through local restaurants.

Introductory room rates range from $79 to $199, and may increase depending on what weekend events are happening in the village, Beardsley said.


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