Every time a new business or improvement is proposed in a Central New York town or city, people come out to protest it. Our region is quickly becoming the "Not in my Backyard" capital of the world. The most recent NIMB victim is a proposed hotel in the Village of New Hartford.

A company intends to build a 4 story Best Western brand hotel in the heart of the village where the old Madden Concrete building was located on Campion Road. Why in the world would anyone be opposed to the taking of an abandoned property and turning into something that will make more money, add to the hotel bed tax and likely draw more in property taxes?

Photo by Dave Olney
Photo by Dave Olney
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One of the big complaints that residents opposed to the project expressed recently at a public hearing was that this proposed hotel would negatively impact property values. The truth is there isn't much that can adversely impact property values in and around the village of New Hartford. One example that contradicts that idea is the property values in North Utica in the last year. Visions Hotels, a separate company, has built two hotels on North Genesee Street in recent years and they are the Fairfield Inn & Suites and Home2 Suites by Hilton. There were ten homes that sold for over the average sales price in the Mohawk Valley in North Utica in the last six months. That is over $200,000.

One of the other complaints people have, which is admittedly a valid one, that there may be the encroachment of people's privacy in the houses behind the parcel where the proposed hotel would be built. This is an understandable concern, but overall that is the point of the public opinion process. Maybe it can inspire a change in structural plans for the hotel.

Photo by Dave Olney
Photo by Dave Olney
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There are several examples in the Utica area where NIMB folks ended up enjoying the benefits of whatever they opposed in their neighborhood previously. Who could forget the anti-Stewart's on Culver Avenue crowd. Most of those people are there enjoying coffee almost every morning.

I know change can be hard, but it's something we all must get used to. With all the positive changes and positive industry coming to the area, good quality hotels are needed. Where progress goes, quality lodging tends to follow.

Photo by Dave Olney
Photo by Dave Olney
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