Saranac Lake’s bobsled win

Just over a week after news broke that Franklin County’s Tourism Advisory Committee had rejected a proposal for the county to spend $135,000 toward housing at a Saranac Lake hotel for the Jamaican bobsled team, the group that proposed the deal, the Saranac Lake-based North Country Sports Council, announced that the team would make its home here after all.

In fact, not only is this plan actually happening, but it’s happening now: The team will make their official North Country debut at the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Gala Parade tomorrow and will have their home at the Hotel Saranac on Main Street.

Saranac Lake native Neil Fortier, the NCSC chair, is putting his own money on the line, as are the Roedel family at the Hotel Saranac. That makes us proud — Saranac Lakers know how to make things happen despite all odds, whether it be a deal like this or the construction of the Ice Palace.

Given the TAC’s decision, this is a great outcome. The North Country Sports Council will have concrete data to show lawmakers the next time it seeks funding for the partnership, Saranac Lakers still get to have the incredible opportunity of meeting the athletes in town as they train at the Olympic Sports Complex at Mount Van Hoevenberg, and the Jamaican bobsledders will be able to get to know our community even better than they otherwise would.

Winter Carnival always brings surprises. The surprise of this plan coming to fruition despite the lack of county support is one to celebrate.


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