To the editor:
There have been a number of previous letters to the editor about the proposed Lake Flower hotel project. If you didn't read them, it's easy to find them on the Adirondack Daily Enterprise website. Just enter "Lake Flower hotel project" into the search bar on the ADE website.
The authors of these letters have raised a number of serious concerns about the size and scope of the Lake Flower hotel project. I share these concerns. The proposed hotel will be four stories high. It will dominate the lakefront and forever change it. Yes, balloons were put up to indicate the proposed height of the hotel, but balloons don't adequately convey the visual impact that the hotel will have. Try to instead picture a huge, solid building that blocks views of Lake Flower during the day. It will be worse at night when it's brightly lit with thousands of lights. If you look at the site plans, you see that the parking is right next to Lake Flower Avenue, "hidden" behind an "architectural screening element" (which I'd bet means a fence). Once the hotel is built, there's no going back. We don't get a do-over if we don't like the way it looks. And we don't get a do-over if the hotel doesn't attract enough visitors to support it and it fails.
Since the 2008 recession, the local economy has suffered. Local merchants need a boost, and local residents need jobs. But we have to ask whether a project like this is in our long-term best interest. Will the hotel jobs pay a living wage to the workers?
My husband and I are transplants to the area, drawn by its unique beauty. Other recent transplants - retirees like us - say the same thing. I am not against development, but not all development is good. To be good, the development needs to fit in with the unique character of our community. In its current form, the hotel project is like a size 14 woman who's somehow squeezed herself into size 8 jeans. There's just way too much spillover.
I hope that other people in the community who have reservations about the hotel project will take time to look at the plans. A new, attractive hotel would be a boon to the community, but this this hotel is too big for the site. The hotel developer says that he needs to build a big hotel in order to make the project economically viable, but there are other locations in Saranac Lake where the hotel could be built. The character of the lakefront needs to be preserved for future generations. It is the community's greatest asset.