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Out with the old for Inn on the Lake in Canandaigua

Rick and Gail Herman, feeling nostalgic and anticipating the next chapter for the Inn on the Lake, stopped by there one last time last Sunday.

It was hours before the doors would close on the hotel built nearly half a century ago, hours before the first rush early Monday to empty the contents to make way for demolition and eventually, a new-look lakefront boutique inn.

“It will be a complete reconstruction,” said Chris Burns, managing director of the venue at 770 S. Main St. The lakefront resort and conference center was built in 1970 as Sheraton Canandaigua Inn. When it’s due to reopen for business in early summer 2020, the hotel will sport modern construction and new features. What remains will be its prime spot on the lake, including its renowned lakeside restaurant The Sand Bar, albeit an upgraded version.

This isn’t the first time that what is now known as the Inn on the Lake has gone through changes. The Sheraton Canandaigua Inn was bought in the mid-1990s by Sands/ Hudson Hotels, recalled Rick Herman, CEO of Rochester Home Builders’ Association. A huge expansion followed in fall 1995 and spring 1996. He and Gail were married there, the first wedding at the Inn on the Lake on May 25, 1996.

“We tell the story of how they couldn’t get the certificate of occupancy until the day before but we were in good hands with Mickey and Marvin Sands personally overseeing this new gem that we now call the Inn on the Lake,” Rick Herman said. (The Sands are founders of Canandaigua Wine Company, which evolved into Constellation Brands Inc.).

On Sunday, the Hermans shared their story of being the first wedding at the Inn on the Lake with the couple who marked the last wedding there.

The new bride and groom are Jami Kaplan and Dave Sutton, who live in Victor. The four posed for a photo outside the hotel on this sunny Sunday, Oct. 14. Jami said they enjoyed meeting the Hermans and hearing their story.

“We look forward to the new and improved hotel,” Rick Herman said. “If all goes well, maybe we will be the first party in May 2020 for our 25th anniversary.”

Burns said it will take about two more weeks to empty the resort’s contents. Demolition will begin in early November. Hotel management is staying on through the construction phase and will work from offices at NY Kitchen, which is adjacent to the Inn on the Lake property. Three Inn on the Lake employees will remain employed during the reconstruction: director of hotel operations; director of sales and marketing; and director of accounting. Burns said a sales team will market the new hotel, along with marketing NY Kitchen.

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