County planners approve hostel for downtown Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 March 2019 at 8:02 am

ALBION – The Orleans County Planning Board voted in favor of the site plan for turning a former dentist office into a hostel in Medina.

Andrew Meier, owner of the Hart House Hotel on West Center Street, wants to open the hostel with six rooms at 511 West Ave. The new business would be called Bunkhaus and would offer a clean and more affordable rest stop on the western end of the Erie Canal between Buffalo and Rochester.

The first floor would have six rooms for the hostel. The two upper apartments would remain.

The six former examination rooms would be outfitted with a bunk bed, lounge chair, clothing storage, sink and mirror, and area to store up to two bicycle. An existing bathroom would be shared by all of the patrons.

“I think this will be a real positive addition,” Meier told the Orleans County Planning Board on Thursday evening.

Meier said the existing layout of the first floor wouldn’t be changed. He wants to make some cosmetic improvements from the current 1970s look of the space.

Meier said the business would operate in tandem with the Hart House, sharing a phone line and cleaning crew. There is a large parking lot and secondary lots across from the Post Office, although many of the guests will be cyclists and won’t have a car.

Meier said he expects many of the customers will be hikers or cyclists exploring the Erie Canal.

“The Village of Medina certainly needs this,” said Marty Busch, the Medina code enforcement officer and a member of the County Planning Board. “We’ve had a tremendous influx of people hiking, cycling and visiting the community.”

Busch said the hostel offers another option for people to stay overnight in Medina.

“It is more spartan accommodations than a typical hotel,” he said.

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