Hamister fails to open hotel in Jamestown as well as Niagara Falls


 The fabulous resort location on Rainbow Boulevard North here isn’t the only hotel in Western New York that do-nothing developer Mark Hamister hasn’t built, h

e’s also failed to build down in Jamestown, where a promised Double Tree Inn has likewise failed to materialize.

It was on June 24, 20014, when Hamister announced that he signed a franchise agreement with Hilton Doubletree for the re-development of the former Ramada in Jamestown.  Doubletree by Hilton is a full-service upscale brand under the Hilton Worldwide umbrella.

Hamister claimed that, as a result of the building’s significant disrepair, he would close the hotel while working through various approvals and plans.  The franchise agreement with Doubletree by Hilton is one of the many important steps to moving this project forward.

The hotel would open in June, 2015, he said.

“Hilton is the most widely recognized name in the hotel industry with an extremely loyal customer base.  We couldn’t have asked for a better partnership for the re-development of this centrally located property in downtown Jamestown,” said Daniel Hamister, the developer’s brother.

Six months later, in January of last year, the announced renovations had yet to begin at the shuttered hotel.

By August, Hamister was claiming that a problem with the state DEC had prevented work from beginning.

“We are still very much committed to this hotel project and believe that it will be a fantastic addition to the downtown Jamestown landscape. Now that we have received clearance from the DEC to move forward, we are entering the design phase of the project with our architects,” said Andrea Czopp, the Director of Communications for the Hamister Group. “We are glad that this hurdle has been cleared so that we can now get back on track.”

Astonishingly, Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi said Hamister’s work in Niagara Falls was partly responsible for the delay. Teresi said Hamister had made it clear that his priorities were to complete projects in Buffalo and Niagara Falls before starting the one in Jamestown.

“I’d rather the developer do things right under their timetable instead of taking a ready-shoot-aim approach and then you have problems down the line,” said Teresi.

Hamister also promised a Hilton to gullible Niagara Falls officials in the summer of 2013, which led Mayor Paul Dyster to gift the developer with a piece of property on Rainbow Boulevard North for a token payment of $100,000 after the parcel had been appraised for $1.5 million.

Time was of the essence, Hamister said, because he planned to begin construction early in the spring of 2014. The proposed development became a political football that ultimately cost Sam Fruscione his seat on the city Council.

As in Jamestown, Hamister has allowed his much ballyhooed Niagara Falls project to languish, downsizing its scope and inflating his cost projections simultaneously.

Both Fruscione and this newspaper correctly guessed that the developer – who never built a hotel before – lacked the financial wherewithal to begin, much less complete the project and what was once a vacant lot a few hundred yards from the entrance to Niagara Falls State Park remains a vacant lot today.


Hamister has “plans” to remodel this closed Jamestown hotel but plans have reportedly been delayed


This is an artist rendering of the proposed Hamister hotel in Jamestown. Like its counterpart in Niagara Falls, it has apparently been delayed.

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