LAKE PLACID - The Lake Placid Lodge is under new ownership.
Ocean Properties, a New Hampshire-based hotel and resort management company, purchased the resort from Ramsfield Hospitality Finance last month for $19 million. Ramsfield had owned the property since May 2010, when it bought the Lodge from the Garrett Hotel Group, which also formerly owned The Point on Upper Saranac Lake.
The Lodge is a 30-room luxury resort on Lake Placid. It's a member of Relais & Chateaux, an international luxury hotel and restaurant group.
A December 2005 fire destroyed the 127-year-old Lodge building, and it took about three years to rebuild, according to Ramsfield President Richard Mandel, "just in time for the huge economic downturn.
"The property was still struggling along during 2009 and the beginning of 2010 when we took it over," Mandel said in a phone interview.
Mandel said the previous owners "weren't actively trying to involve the property in Lake Placid life.
"They basically turned their back to Lake Placid, and they weren't welcoming to the local people for eating at the restaurants, drinking in the bar, having family functions at the property," he said. "We did a complete change. We felt for this property to ever become successful, it would have to become an important part of Lake Placid. So we offered specials and changed the way they interacted with the town."
Mandel said his firm is "mostly a lender" to hotels, and it sought to make improvements to the property and its management before seeking a new buyer. He said Ocean Properties is a good fit.
"We were trying to find somebody who could really understand this type of property, who would be a good employer for our employees," Mandel said.
Ocean Properties has a portfolio of more than 100 hotels, including The Sagamore in Lake George.
Mandel said his firm "likes where things are going in the Adirondacks and specifically in Lake Placid.
"We're looking to lend more money to the hospitality industry in the region," he said.