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New Look, Same Excellence for Guests at Clarkson Inn in Potsdam

The Clarkson Inn in Potsdam is getting somewhat of a new look, but no matter what exterior changes are made, it will always feel like home away from home to the guests, thanks to the gracious nature of General Manager George Lavigne, CHA.

Clarkson Inn General Manager George Lavigne stands in front of the Inn.With its downtown setting along the banks of the Raquette River, the elegant brick hotel with 40 rooms draws corporate travelers, tourists from Canada and elsewhere, sports fans, and a steady flow of visitors from the Clarkson University community. To Lavigne, who was raised in France and has traveled extensively around the world, each person is a valued guest who is welcomed with genuine warmth.

“They are guests, not customers,” he emphasizes. “This hotel is their home away from home, and I say, 'You tell me what you need and I shall get it for you.' This is the feeling that we need to bring back into the hotel and service industry.”

In accordance with his philosophy of hospitality, Lavigne prepares daily a personal welcome letter for each guest upon arrival. Travelers are also treated to a complimentary bottle of water and chocolates in boxes tied with monogrammed ribbons. Per his directive, the beds are made with 250-thread-count sheets. Guests also are provided cozy slippers and a spanking white, soft bathrobe.

Hotel guests, as well as the public, can begin the day with a leisurely feast of eggs made to order, smoked salmon, fresh fruit, six kinds of juice, locally made bagels, local maple syrup, fresh granola, yogurt, muffins, and – bien sur – croissants.

“We're willing to meet special dietary needs or wishes.' Home away from home' is not a slogan here. It is the truth,” he adds.

Lavigne, who has managed the hotel for nearly four years, is quick to credit his small staff for their dedication to the success of the business. They also are doing everything they can to assure a very comfortable experience for guests.

While it is difficult to improve upon the Clarkson Inn experience, refurbishments under way include new carpeting and new windows, in addition to new furniture in the lobby and some changes in guest room furnishings. Lavigne is replacing overly large desks in the rooms with a more sleek and practical version. Also, handsome wooden armoires will hold the televisions in lieu of brackets on the wall.

Further down the road, changes are planned for the lobby and dining area.

In the meantime, guests and neighbors are always welcome to come home to the Clarkson Inn. Stop by at 1 Main St., or call 315-265-3050. More information is online at

Photo caption: Clarkson Inn General Manager George Lavigne stands in front of the Inn.

[A photograph for media use is available at]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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