New Lake Placid toboggan chute opens successfully

Open Friday through Feb. 25

LAKE PLACID — The town of North Elba’s new toboggan chute at Mirror Lake got off to a successful, albeit slightly bumpy, start this weekend when it opened after the town didn’t operate the popular amusement attraction all of last year.

The slide was open from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. Sunday and town officials said about $4,800 of income was derived from riders this weekend. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children to ride as much as they’d like during an afternoon session.

The slide will be open every day during an eight-day stretch spanning President’s Week, between Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25. Hours of operation during those days will be noon to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., as new LED lights will illuminate the slide during late night hours.

Town councilman Derek Doty reiterated at Tuesday’s regularly scheduled town council meeting that ideal weather delayed the slide’s opening.

“Even just getting the lake ready, because it was almost 18 inches (of slush) deep out there,” Doty said. “They finally got the snow away, and it froze.”

The town council did say there were a couple of ambulance calls to the slide during its open this weekend, though they described the injuries as minor and similar to the kinds of bumps and bruises riders experienced for years on the old slide.

“I wish there was an easier way to make it transfer from the slide to the lake — a little less jolty,” town Supervisor Roby Politi said.

“They can probably radius a piece,” Doty replied, “but it’s still about six feet longer than the transition was on the old one. There are three tapers, if you will.”

“I think when they get it filled in and it transitions better,” Doty continued, “then they can make a template out of it.”

“It’s been like this for years,” Politi said, “we’ll get the bugs out of it, it takes a little while.”

Doty said the final touches to the slide will be completed this summer when windows at the top and a new lever system are installed.

In the past, the North Elba Park District has deemed the chute fit to open by the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the third Monday in January, though that hinges on ice thickness. Last year, a lack of ice thickness resulted in the chute never opening before the town deemed it structurally unsafe and began looking into building a new one.

In August 2016, the town council unanimously passed a bond resolution to finance the new slide, awarding the construction contract to Jeffords Steel at a cost of $273,996 to the town. The old slide, which was demolished and scrapped, was converted into a toboggan chute from a Lake Placid Club ski jump in 1965.

The slide’s seasonal operators were also accepted by the council at Tuesday’s meeting, and will be Brandon Miner, Bryce Paries, Spencer Pratt and Austin Pratt.