HAWLEY - Imagine having your hotel booked on Valentine's Day and then fire hits, forcing out all your guests and leaving the place a mess.
That's what happened to the owners of a hotel in Wayne County.
From the outside, Ledges Hotel in Hawley looks no different from it has for the few years it's been in business. Go inside and the place is gutted, the result of water damage from a fire a little more than a week ago.
It happened on Valentine's Day. All the guests were forced out. The owners soon realized the hotel, as well as the restaurant and bar would be out of commission for months.
"You couldn't have written it worse from a guest experience, we had a sold out hotel. A special dinner with romance package and everything," said owner Justin Genzlinger.
The hotel underwent demolition last week. Suites were soaked and crews moved in last week to get the historic place that was once a glass factory ready for a makeover.
The owners of Ledges said they haven't narrowed down an exact cause of the fire but do believe it could be due to so much snow piled up on the roof that it led to a problem with the equipment and subsequently the wet mess below.
"The water really started on the roof and worked its way all the way down to the basement. So 5 floors, 4 above grade, all suffered significant damage," said Genzlinger.
Nearby at Sawmill Cycles, owner Dan Corrigan said the fire at Ledges takes away some business from his winter rental outfit.
"To have an establishment go down like that we'll certainly feel the impact in early spring and looking for them to get back up on their feet as quickly as they can," said Corrigan.
The owners hope to be back in business at Ledges Hotel by Easter.