One of Wolf Road’s largest hotels in Colonie, former Turf Inn, now derelict property

COLONY — A generation ago, 205 Wolf Road was one of the Capital Region’s preeminent hotels.

Called the Best Western Turf Inn when it opened in the mid-1970s, it hosted Hollywood stars, New York governors and thousands who used it as a stopping point between Albany and the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, according to the Times Union’s photo archives of the property.

But now the large structure on one of the Capital Region’s busiest commercial strips is vacant, and has been given the “X” designation by the town of Colonie, signifying to first responders that the building is unsafe to enter.

From the archives: Wolf Road through the years

The hotel closed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and never reopened, said Sean Maguire, director of economic planning and development for Colonie. The building, which was last called the Red Lion Inn, has since been determined a safety risk, with the white “X” with the red background recently seen mounted to the front of the building to let emergency responders know to avoid entering it. Wayne Spenziero, manager of Colonie’s building department, did not immediately return a request for comment about the structural status of the building.

The “X” designation was posted on the front of the building a few weeks ago, but the sign appears to be gone this past week.

Since the pandemic shutdown people have broken into the property and smashed windows, destroyed dry wall and spray-painted walls, according to photos local radio station WGNA published online last month. A van also spray-painted with graffiti has also been left in front of the hotel.

The property went into foreclosure during the pandemic and was bought by 205 Wolf LLC on Nov. 29, according to a deed filed with the Albany County clerk’s office on Dec. 1. The manager of the company that formerly owned the property is based in Florida, and has been involved with the bankruptcy of dozens of hotels around Orlando, according to news reports.

Maguire said the new owners are in the process of putting together a revenue-generating plan to either reuse or rehabilitate the building. The Albany Business Review reported that the new owners said they likely would not reopen the main building as a hotel.

The 205 Wolf LLC has the same address listed with the New York state State Department as Trinity Realty Group, which owns many properties on Wolf Road. However, TRG President Kevin Parisi said Sunday that the wrong address is on file for that LLC, and Trinity is not the new owner of the hotel. “Unfortunately we are not the owners,” he wrote in an email. “The LLC is not part of our company.”

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