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Travel show film crew visits Alex Bay mansions in search for ‘sweet retreats’


ALEXANDRIA BAY — This week, film crews follow a married couple searching the Thousand Islands for the best retreat to hold a large family reunion.

The travel show — “Sweet Retreats,” which will air on the ABC-owned Live Well Network — visits some of the most beautiful homes in the country with its host, Rene Syler, and guest reviewers. Three properties — owned by Richard K. Champney and Edith Lehr Amsterdam — with a charming backdrop of the St. Lawrence River in Alexandria Bay will be featured in this particular episode, as well as Heart Island’s Boldt Castle, Singer Castle on Dark Island and the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton.

Mr. Champney, who owns the two Edgewood Point rental homes that were filmed Monday, said a husband and wife will choose whether his riverfront properties, with a total of nine bedrooms, or the 14-bedroom Casa Blanca mansion on Cherry Island is the best fit for a large family reunion. zPhillip Amsterdam, Edith’s son, said the couple from Philadelphia will be reviewing the Casa Blanca mansion today and tour area attractions Wednesday.

In addition to the historic Casa Blanca, a grand summer retreat from the Gilded Age, Cherry Island is home to an unusual boat house with three additional bedrooms. The 1990s Wade Mansion on Edgewood Point has been completely restored by Mr. Champeny, and the adjacent property is a spacious contemporary estate.

The Amsterdams said they had sparked the interest one of the show’s producers, who had visited a family-owned hotel in Key West, Fla., the Curry Mansion Inn, and saw pictures of the Thousand Islands and Casa Blanca on display there.

Live Well Network is not available locally on Time Warner Cable, but episodes of “Sweet Retreats” can be viewed online for free:


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