Never in recent memory has Saranac Lake seen so much energy and hope for economic improvement as it has this summer. We are finally seeing major private investment in our area that is remarkably encouraging.
There's the one hotel developer who plans to buy three motels along Lake Flower and replace them with a 90-room resort hotel. Another plans to buy and renovate the historic Hotel Saranac at the heart of downtown. A local contractor bought the shuttered Casa Del Sol Mexican restaurant and will renovate and revive it. Even the local McDonald's is getting a million-dollar makeover.
These are signs that prosperity, which returned to Wall Street shortly after its 2008 crash, is finally coming to Main Street. The recession and economic malaise of the last five years was hard on our area, but it was sometimes hard to see the decline because it was so subtle.
The hard times mostly seemed to pass Lake Placid by. Its streets looked to be as packed as ever, and a large new hotel opened recently.
Tupper Lake has had it tough, but that's largely due to its unique, molasses-like dilemma with the proposed Adirondack Club and Resort.
Saranac Lake, the 1998 "All-America City," is a better mainstream economic barometer, and now it may be starting to pop.
We feel as we do after a long dark winter, when we wondered if we'd ever feel the warmth of the sun again. When spring eventually comes, everyone gets excited.
We applaud all the business people who believe in this area enough to invest in it. While there will be challenges, such as the hoteliers' applications for millions of dollars in state grants, we encourage them to work together with everyone to overcome obstacles with solutions. We are optimistic that all parties will support the investors and get these jobs done.
Having amenities to attract large groups here is necessary in order to grow, create jobs and improve our quality of life. We feel confident that if these projects go through, they will have an enormous positive spillover. We look forward to a bright future and are up for the challenges.