The Barlow has the honor of being a 2014 Crystal Apple Award finalist. The award is presented each year by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce to a Chamber member business, “to recognize an extraordinary contribution to economic progress, community improvement, and the quality of life in Columbia County over the previous year”. Nominations for the award were made by business peers, further reassurance to us that our contributions have been recognized by the greater business community.
As we read through the criteria for nomination we took some time to evaluate our success in each area:
“Economic progress”: The much anticipated opening of The Barlow signaled not only additional lodging for Columbia County but for the opportunity to encourage visitors to stay and explore all that Hudson and the surrounding county has to offer. Two of the most frequent questions asked prior to the Hotel opening was, “Do you have a restaurant?” and “Do you have a bar?”. The answer to both is no. Why? We wanted The Barlow to benefit the entire city and county. That’s was the motivation behind the creation of our Privileges Partners program: to “spread the wealth”. We wanted to encourage guests to explore all there is to do, see and experience in Columbia County and to eat and shop locally. Our hope is that the Hotel is, in fact, leading to what the Crystal Apple Award defines as economic progress.
“Community improvement”: The seven month intensive renovation of 542 Warren Street transformed a vacant 1920’s office building and transformed it into The Barlow. Located in the heart of Hudson’s Historic Business District, the Hotel sits right in the middle of the city. Years of partial use led to more years of the building being vacant, with no maintenance or upkeep of any sort. While no apparent illicit activity was taking place there was certainly the potential for it. Removing the opportunity for nefarious activity, with increased foot traffic, visibility and exterior lighting certainly improved the community. The Crystal Apple Award looks to recognize community improvement, and having a fully operational business was certainly a welcome change for the neighborhood.
“Quality of life”: This criterion might be a little more difficult to nail down, depending on how “quality of life” is characterized in order to win the Crystal Apple Award, but give the two previous categories it would seem like The Barlow also meets this qualification. By bringing more guests to Hudson, who will spend their money locally, businesses will benefit economically and will need to hire more staff and purchase more local goods and services thereby improving the quality of life of all involved in the economic upswing. Improving the community by having a vibrant, successful business in the middle of the city The Barlow does improve the quality of life if nothing more than the building looks warm and inviting and adds a more welcoming “vibe” to Hudson.
On March 28 the winner of the Crystal Apple Award will be announced. We’ll keep you posted!