Local pride

Jay Schultz would be so happy. During the many years he ran Hotel Business—many of which I was fortunate to work with him and learn from him—he and I always shared a love for the local. He grew up in Patchogue, NY, and I grew up only a few towns away, only to move closer to, and on the border of, Patchogue now in my adult years. Supporting our small towns and communities was always important to us, and a lot of our office chatter would be about the new shops and restaurants that had opened—or the ones that closed but defined our childhoods—as well as news about town and the people we had in common.

And no one was more of a champion of his beloved Patchogue than Jay—right up until his untimely passing in 2018. He wanted, more than anything, to blend his love for, knowledge of and connections in the hotel industry with his hometown pride—and, more recently, growth—and have a hotel developed and opened downtown in this community. It didn’t happen while he was still here, but I truly hope he’s “looking down,” so to speak, with a huge smile on his face—that same bright look he’d get when celebrating the successes of the relatively small Incorporated Village of Patchogue on Long Island’s south shore. It’s in the process of happening!

Maybe it’s small news on a national scale, but to this hometown girl—and in honor of my friend and colleague—it’s big news. And it will be huge news to the waterfront communities along the Great South Bay. With all credit given to The Long Island Advance (“your hometown newspaper since 1871”) in its exclusive cover story, “Hilton hotel is headed for the riverfront. What’s planned?” A 116-room, six-story Tempo, including several residential apartments and at-grade retail. At press time, the proposal was put before the zoning board. As Nicole Fuentes writes in her story, “After years of work to attract a hotel proposition for the Village of Patchogue, Mayor Paul Pontieri officially confirmed Hilton Hotels will be submitting a proposal before the village planning board during a special hearing…” The mayor is said to be ecstatic at the thought, after years of anticipation and planning to attract a major hotel brand to this area. There will also be meeting and event spaces, a rooftop bar and restaurant, as well as a gym and outdoor seating.

Yes, it’s still early in the process, with the proposal still needing to go through all the proper channels, but I know two people who hope it comes to fruition.