Copperfield Inn acquired by New York City investor


NORTH CREEK – The Copperfield Inn Resort near the Gore Mountain ski area in North Creek has been acquired by former New York City catering hall and restaurant operator Diana Espalza.

The 31-room Adirondacks lodge and two restaurants were purchased for $1 million almost six months after the sellers rejected a $1.41 million offer that came through an online auction.

The sellers, Michael Ellis and Copperfield Resorts LLC, were represented by Mitch Muroff, principal of Muroff Daigle Hospitality Group.

Espalza, who lives in Queens, spent 15 years operating a restaurant, bar and catering business in New York City. She has worked in accounting for the past 10 years and started searching for a hotel that she could purchase about a year ago.

Espalza was among the half-dozen active bidders in an online auction hosted by Ten-X Commercial in June. Muroff spoke to several of the bidders after the auction and closed the all-cash sale of the Copperfield Inn property last week.

“It was difficult to identify somebody who has a background running a hotel and food and beverage,” Muroff said.

It took him about a year to sell the property after picking up the listing.

Espalza, who grew up in Colombia and moved to the United States 30 years ago, said running a hotel has been a lifelong goal.

She plans to change the name of the 2.33-acre Adirondack’s resort property to Phoenix Inn Resort. The property will be operated year-round, hosting holiday events and parties, weddings and corporate gatherings.

Espalza expects to host at least 10 weddings during her first year. She also wants to organize events featuring Hispanic food and music, and the restaurants will focus heavily on appealing to local residents and skiers.

The resort is located in North Creek, a hamlet in the town of Johnsburg, a little more than 3 miles from Gore Mountain Ski Resort, which attracts more than 230,000 skiers a year. The property includes a health and fitness center, saunas and a 2,500-square-foot ballroom that can accommodate a banquet for 200 guests.

Espalza is planning several upgrades over the next year that will include renovating the front desk and swimming pool, replacing beds and creating more outdoor areas for weddings and parties.

Ellis and his partners bought the Copperfield for $1.5 million in December 2008. They decided to list the property because he was ready to retire.

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