Actually, resort has the same owners

It looks like we jumped the gun with our editorial Monday, saying the owners of the Lake Flower Resort and Spa project should reveal their names.

On the resort’s website, www.saranaclakeresort.com, is a press release dated June 28, four days before our editorial was published and one day before it was written. The release names Lee Pillsbury and Mark Pacala as the general partners of Saranac Lake Resort Owner LLC, the corporation that recently purchased the three motels on Lake Flower Avenue. Those motels will soon make way for the 93-room hotel with two restaurants, meeting space and boat slips.

Pillsbury and Pacala had revealed themselves as the project’s owners two years ago, after we editorialized that they should identify themselves — and they are still the owners. We apologize to them for suggesting otherwise.

Our suspicion was aroused when the project’s lawyer, Matt Norfolk, declined to answer our reporter’s question about whether Pillsbury and Pacala were still the owners, and then didn’t return our follow-up calls. He has, thus far, been our contact with the resort team. We checked the resort’s website and missed seeing this press release, which was not submitted to this newspaper. We also wondered why there was a new LLC involved — Saranac Lake Resort Owner instead of the prior Saranac Lake Resort.

But while it’s good to ask questions, we should have been more patient in waiting for answers. Instead, our editorial board leaped into public speculation, and it turns out we were wrong.

We haven’t met the resort owners, and so far they haven’t agreed to do interviews. But they did share some positive comments about the Lake Flower Resort in this latest press release, so the least we can do is publish those here.

“This new hotel will be an economic engine for the village and surrounding area, in addition to creating many new jobs the property is already starting to contribute with increased sales to vendors and local businesses,” Pillsbury said.

“With a love of the Adirondacks and a house in the Lake George area, it has been very important to me that this is a sustainable and environmentally conscious development,” Pacala said. “It is a significant positive that many of the environmental aspects of the new development are improved from what exists today and it is very exciting to be the first LEED-certified hotel in the Adirondack Park!”

We at the Enterprise agree that this project is likely to be positive for Saranac Lake’s economy.

At the same time, as this community’s newspaper, its watchdog, its agent of public curiosity, it’s still our job to find answers to people’s questions — including about a big new hotel development. We make no apologies for working hard to bring those answers to light.

But when we make mistakes in the way we go about it, we regret it and have no problem saying so.

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