Skylane Motel Plan Aims to ‘Scare’ Up Tourist Dollars for Colonie
By Pug Ransom
Published August 9th, 2015
The Skylane Motel (left). Former residents (right) line up for employment opportunities.
COLONIE — The Colonie Planning Board on Tuesday will review a proposal to resurrect the shuttered Skylane Motel into a haunted house that would operate year round.
The project is part of a wider plan to turn the 1900 block of Central Avenue into a “horror corridor” that would convert, perhaps, the town’s most scary section into a revenue-generating tourist attraction.
“The Skyway is truly one of Colonie’s most horrifying buildings, so all of this makes perfect sense,” said Town Supervisor Cricket Johnson. “Already you have the people in that area who are like the Walking Dead, and plus, the Costumer is located just a further bit up the road. So, yeah, there’s opportunity there.”
The Skylane — which for years had been a source of controversy due to its history of housing convicted sex offenders — was condemned by the town in January of last year after more than 250 code violations were discovered during the execution of a search warrant.
In April, town officials confirmed they were in preliminary talks with TGI Friday’s about converting the former pedophile flop house into a restaurant, but those talks ended once architects for the chain said they would not be able to retain the Skylane’s “history and charm.”
But Johnson said that last month, the town was approached by Jerard Sandusky, a former Skylane resident and Level 3 sex offender, who had suddenly come into money after the death of his mother.
“This is my opportunity to give back to the community,” said Sandusky of his haunted house plan. “The Skylane, to so many people, represents something horrifying, but I firmly believe that horror is something we can all enjoy. You just have to be willing to let go of your inhibitions.”
Colonie Police Chief Abe Vigoda said he will attend Tuesday’s board meeting to voice his steadfast opposition to the plan.
“This is such a bad idea on so many levels,” said Vigoda. “Sandusky, his friends, a dark house, and kids? Yeah, this is just a really, really bad idea.”