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May 2, 2014

Investor unveils plans for historic hotel

Roseboro Hotel in Sharon Springs has 19th-century roots

Ron Ketelsen has only visited Sharon Springs twice. But what he saw there has inspired him to make a major investment.

The California business executive revealed ambitious plans Thursday to complete the restoration of the once-resplendent Roseboro Hotel on Main Street in the heart of the historic village and open two new restaurants in the complex. He said he will also install a museum focusing on the Titanic disaster and rent out ground-floor space where local craftspeople can sell their wares.

As if those plans aren’t enterprising enough, Ketelsen said he is also hoping to line up a deal for having the restoration project be the subject of a reality television series.

Ketelsen has a contract to purchase the real estate. A closing is scheduled for early June, he said. He said he is also buying an adjacent Victorian house at 206 Main St,, and has plans to convert that to a bakery and coffee shop. He said he will also purchase several acres of nearby vacant land, where he will have show gardens.

“Sharon Springs has so much history behind it, and that is one of the things that makes me really excited about this project,” he said. “It’s a village at the verge of taking off again.”

The Roseboro grew out of three separate hotels all built in the 19th century — the Howland House, the oldest of the structures, the Rosenberg Hotel and the Rosenberg House. They were connected in 1900, resulting in the 45,000-square-foot building that stands today but hasn’t operated as a hotel since 1968.

He said he plans to convert the top floor of the Roseboro to a 3,500-square-foot penthouse — where he will live. He’s also planning to restore the hotel ballroom and a manual elevator manufactured by Otis in 1939.

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