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Robert Mansfield was visiting the Philmont area recently, a place he had grown up as a child, and decided to check out the Vanderbilt, his great grandfather's old hotel on Main Street. The restaurant has been a Philmont destination for over 100 years and sits on the Philmont Reservoir. After talking with the current restaurant manager, Marcy Groll, and finding out the inn was for sale, his mind started rolling with ideas. Bob had always dreamed of owning the restaurant, and he quickly contacted an architect and with Marcy's help, started making plans to purchase the building and grounds and bring the restaurant back into the Mansfield family.
Bob was born in Hudson and spent much of his early childhood in Philmont before moving to Valatie and graduating from high school. He attended the Naval Academy at the same time as another Philmont resident, Oliver North, where he trained as a jet pilot. After the military, Bob worked as a financial planner and owned various food franchises living in South Carolina, Florida, Texas and most recently San Diego, California.
Bob has many memories of the original Vanderbilt and is planning on making wholesale renovations to the building in order to restore it to its original grandeur. His main focus for all the renovations is to prominently display the water view and to create a beautiful facility for visitors and locals alike. He plans to fix the 2nd floor to serve as a hotel again, with a full bath for each room, moving the kitchen to its original location, so that the present kitchen in the back of the restaurant can be made into a glass enclosed dining room for year-round views of the Reservoir. The deck area will be twice the size of the current deck. He is planning on tearing down the barns. The second floor porches will be available for guests. The restaurant will be open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner and Marcy will stay on staff and a new chef will be hired to run the kitchen.
Bob hopes to attract skiers in the winter and vacationers in the summer to enjoy the quaint Village of Philmont. The hotel could provide transportation from the train station in Hudson to the hotel and offer homemade picnic lunches for skiers, hikers and bikers.
If all goes according to plan, we will have lodging in the village and many new visitors, and we'll have another destination for our great village.