Boldt Castle opens for season with new features
It's a sure sign of spring in the thousand Islands region as Boldt Castle opens its doors for thousands of tourists. Our Amanda Kelley takes us to Heart Island for a look at the historic castle and the treasures it holds inside.
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HEART ISLAND, N.Y. - -It's the heart of the 1000 Islands and it holds a love story. Boldt Castle on Heart Island opened it's doors for its 35th season and has already welcomed hundreds of visitors this weekend.
Colorado resident George Acree said, "We just decided to come and see the castle because of its message more or less. A love story."
Canadian resident Gage Stephens said, "Everybody talked about coming to Boldt Castle and said you have to come see it, so here we are."
This historic 122-room Castle was started by George Boldt in the 1900's, a labor of love for his wife Louise. When she passed suddenly construction stopped. But for the past 73 years the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority has worked diligently to restore the castle to its original intended beauty.
Boldt Facilities Director Shane Sanford said, "Thousand Island Bridge Authority has invested about 34 million dollars over the past 35 years here at the Boldt Facilities here and the Boldt Castle and the Boldt Yacht House and have attracted about six million visitors over that period of time."
And with each new season at Boldt Castle comes new additions and this year on Heart Island is no different. A new state of the art theater was added on the second floor and the old theater area will be converted back into the Butler's Pantry in 2013. Visitors say they enjoy exploring and learning about the new and old at each turn.
Acree said, "You read and hear about castles, but to actually be in one see one, touching walking, it's pretty overwhelming."
There's plenty of work to complete George Boldt's masterpiece, but it's something the Bridge Authority says they love to do, offering visitors a new experience each season.
Sanford said, "It's all about our visitation and our visitors that we do this work. Without the visitors supporting this attraction we probably wouldn't be moving forward as much as we have."
So if you haven't seen Boldt Castle lately, you haven't seen Boldt Castle.
The Castle plans to host more than sixty weddings this summer as well. They are now open daily until mid-October.