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Swan Lake Resort Hotel Opens

Rich Newman
Staff Writer

May 4, 1999

SWAN LAKE – The first of several Catskill hotels being renovated this year welcomed its first guests yesterday. But it was a race to the wire. The certificate of occupancy wasn't issued for the Swan Lake Resort Hotel until an hour after the first guests arrived at 3 p.m. Fire doors for the activity rooms were delivered yesterday as state Health Department inspectors were approving the kitchen facilities.

As the fire doors were being hung, the Town of Liberty issued a temporary certificate of occupancy. "It's a real gratifying experience. There are some finishing touches that need to be completed. We've been doing a lot of overtime," said Victor Gallo, a surgeon from Garden City, who bought the resort with his wife, Songcha.

The Gallos have invested millions in refurbishing the former Stevensville Hotel, which had been vacant for six years. Gallo declined to give a specific amount yesterday.

About 80 guests arrived in two buses from the Hanak JVL Senior Center in Astoria, Queens, the first to see the renovated resort.

"It's absolutely gorgeous," said Josephine Manzioni, the trip coordinator.

The lobby sports three giant glass chandeliers, a large jade sailing ship, Grecian urns and other classical statuary.

Ninety-six of the 355 rooms opened yesterday. More rooms will open as renovations continue. The resort is the first of several hotels under new ownership to reopen. The new owners of the Concord and Grossingers both plan extensive renovations and new construction to try and restore those former destination resorts.

Even though the Swan Lake Resort Hotel was still a work in progress yesterday, guests didn't seem to mind. Louise Gleason said she was sure she would have a good time during her week-long visit.

Among the activities for her group include visits to Monticello Raceway, Woodbury Common and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

But last night at the hotel, they were in for a Catskill tradition: bingo, music and dancing.