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Concerns arise in wake of Sagamore sale

BOLTON LANDING Last weeks purchase of The Sagamore by Sagbolt LLC has surprised and concerned many in area communities, with a reported 103 layoffs and policy changes that will affect the 700-plus remaining staff at the historic resort. Sagbolt is a subsidiary of Ocean Properties, Inc., which is owned by the Walsh family and owns over 100 hotels and resorts across the country, according to a press release issued this week by Sagbolt officials. However, the undisclosed specifics of the sale and the subsequent layoffs have raised questions in the community. Sagamore employees have remained tight-lipped regarding the policy changes that have occurred because of the new ownership. Many told the Adirondack Journal that they were concerned about losing their jobs. Several commented with the understanding that theyd remain anonymous. They fired so many people within two hours of the transaction, said a female employee of nearly 10 years. She and other employees said last week they were instructed to re-apply for their positions. She said the re-hiring process was followed by group meetings where company policy was outlined in detail. She and others confirmed at Sagamore employees 401K plans would not include company contributions as in the past. Also, the employees new health-care coverage has a $10,000 deductible, the woman said. See SAGAMORE, page 19 Sagamore From page 1 Several employees said they were told the staff cuts were made because overhead had to be reduced for the operation to remain financially viable. A representative of Sagbolt explained the actions. Benefits always change when there is a sale like this, said Sagamore Director of Marketing and Sales Kevin Rosa. I obviously cant comment on the layoffs or the specifics of the benefit changes. Similar responses came from repeated inquiries to Ocean Properties officials based at the firms offices in Florida and New Hampshire. A long-time male employee said the benefit package is inferior to the one existing under the previous ownership. Furthermore, employee schedules will now be under the oversight of the central office, which will use projected revenue to dictate what staff is needed and when. Its not all bad, the male employee said. The resort needs a lot of renovation and this group has the money to do it. This employee also said that Sagbolt officials discussed an intention of going green, reducing the amount of gas-powered vehicles used in day-to-day operations to help the environment while saving money. They are trying to make the Sagamore viable again, he said. Its just too bad so many people had to lose their jobs in the process The Sagamore is a huge employer in this area. Apparently renowned gold pro Tom Smack was among Sagamore employees that were fired. In a telephone interview, he said he was severed from his duties. Smack was informed last Thursday that he was terminated immediately, he said. Smack, 64, said he would be seeking to maintain his home in Bolton, but would be open to other employment opportunities. Tom Smack and his wife Angie have been in Bolton for 24 years, and Angie has been employed nearly since their arrival at Bolton Central School. Correspondent Bill Morehouse contributed to this report.

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