Press-Republican

Local News

August 26, 2011

Dormitory demolition readies site for new hotel

Lake Placid Club project could add 100-room facility

LAKE PLACID — By KIM SMITH DEDAM

A decrepit dormitory building on Mirror Lake Drive is being disassembled for scrap recycling, possibly clear the way for a new hotel.

Hidden behind a deliberate screen of tall cedars on the lower banks of the hill where Lake Placid Club's grand hotel once stood, the dormitory is a steel-and-cinder-block rectangle built four stories against a hill in 1968.

This project is up next for redevelopment in a master plan the Lussi family's company, Placid Gold LLC, put in motion in 1999 after purchasing what was left of the bankrupt and defunct Lake Placid Club properties.

But the move to add a 100-room hotel along Mirror Lake Drive requires rezoning.

Standing inside the torn cement edifice, Arthur Lussi looked at the crowded beach outside.

"We felt this project should be next," he said. "We've been cleaning up all of the Lake Placid Club sites, and this is still such an eyesore."

If it weren't for the cedars, the building would stand in complete deference to neatly kept properties nearby.

VACANT OVERLOOK

The original Lake Placid Club purchase in 1996 encompassed 70 buildings on 900 acres total.

The master plan is laid out on a huge map on one wall in the office the family shares at their anchor business, Crowne Plaza Resort.

Lake Placid Club structures are indicated by tiny, open squares on the map — some filled in with black marker.

Lussi stood at the map and inked in another square.

Thus they have tracked a course to revitalize carefully, one building at a time.

At $4.6 million, the purchase encompassed the buildings, the land, 45 holes of golf, six tennis courts, a skeet range, plus the historic seven-story hotel, including the theater, its chapel and Agora Wing, which were demolished in 2002.

The hotel perch remains a vacant overlook, but many of the properties have been restored, removed or otherwise sold into private use.

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