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Gideon Putnam team takes on hotel cleanup after major flooding, saves food for local pantries

The Delaware North management team at The Gideon Putnam is being praised for its response in the wake of major basement flooding that was caused by a break in a water main inside the building.

The historic hotel — which Delaware North operates for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in Saratoga Spa State Park in Saratoga, N.Y. — has been temporarily closed since the flooding was discovered on Jan. 15. It’s estimated that the earliest the hotel can reopen is mid-March.

The flooding affected the hotel’s utility infrastructure, leaving the hotel without gas service and working boilers, electric service, water service and telephone service. The basement also houses several hotel offices and storage areas that were damaged.

On Jan. 15, the team immediately acted to shut down electric and gas service, safely evacuate about 60 guests, and send all non-essential employees home. The nearby Roosevelt Baths & Spa was not affected by the water main break and has remained open.

Since then, the team, led by new General Manager John Howard, has worked with the aid of several outside firms on the cleanup of the hotel’s basement — thousands of gallons of water were pumped out but many areas were also covered in mud — and to take the initial steps to restore utility services. The effort, which has also included working with guests to find them other accommodations, has been assisted by the parks and resorts management team and several corporate departments at global headquarters in Buffalo.

“We’ve had an excellent start to our remediation process, and I could not be more proud of the tireless efforts of everyone on behalf of The Gideon Putnam,” said Paul Jeppson, regional vice president of Delaware North’s parks and resorts business for the eastern region.

The team even found time to donate produce and other food, valued at more than $2,300, that was not exposed to the flooding. In an effort coordinated by Executive Chef Luca Brunelle and Environmental Manager Heather Coton, the food was provided to the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council for its food pantry and community kitchen.