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Hotel @ the Lafayette stages grand opening

It was a scene out of another age Tuesday night, as guests in evening dress pulled up to the Washington Street door of the Lafayette Hotel, now known as Hotel @ the Lafayette.

Guests had their doors opened by uniformed valets and entered the marble lobby as the doors were opened by uniformed staff members. It wasn't quite like the days when the hotel opened more than a century ago, but it was symbolic.

Developer Rocco Termini was formally opening the downtown landmark after $43 million in renovations. There are already 60 people living in apartments upstairs, many of the hotel rooms were occupied, and there were bartenders in a string of restaurants providing food and drink.

Signature Development President Termini says area residents are excited about the re-opening.

"The people of Buffalo have been so great," Termini said. "We have all kinds of memorabilia of this building, all given to us by the people of Buffalo

Termini says there are a few things left to do like finishing the Speakeasy in the basement, but he says the Lafayette Hotel is open and running.


Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.