December 8, 2012

Lake Placid named a real-life wonderland


LAKE PLACID — It wasn’t really startling news to anyone who lives near here. 

But news giant CNN has named Lake Placid one of five real-life wonderlands.

The story, launched this week, put the quaint, oft-snowy Adirondack village among four other “wonderlands” where travelers can find “the wonder of winter, the wonder of shopping and the wonder of Santa Claus up front.”

The other four real-life wonderlands named by CNN are: White River National Forest in Colorado, Callaway Gardens in Georgia, Mall of America in Minnesota and Santa Claus Village in Finland. 


The brief portraiture in writing by CNN contributor Adam Carlson calls attention to the 6 million acres of Adirondack wilderness surrounding Lake Placid. 

The mention is important, as it reinforces the Lake Placid Convention and Visitors Bureau effort to put Lake Placid’s well-known international reputation in an Adirondack context.

A few years ago, tourism officials were surprised when results from an in-depth marketing survey found that many familiar with Lake Placid did not realize it is in the Adirondack Park.

Kim Reilly, Visitors Bureau spokeswoman, shed light on the proximity of village amenities to raw wild beauty.

She described Lake Placid as “a cool little alpine village in the middle of the wilderness.”


The CNN feature also points to the wooden “old ski jump” in the center of the village, which is now actually the toboggan slide that opens onto Mirror Lake (once the lake is frozen), usually during school holiday vacation.

The slide once was used as a ski jump.

Benjamin Brewster, the first man to build a hotel here — overlooking Mirror Lake and Lake Placid Lake — in 1871, would probably be glad to know the wonderland he settled is still “real-life.”

The view remains largely the same, despite the modern village amenities, technology and world renown.

The CNN feature does, however, suggest there are “43 peaks for hiking.” Not sure what happened to the other three or (technically) four, but Reilly said the story is a boost nonetheless.

“To have our Adirondack destinations included in these types of ‘top’ traditional media lists is always great exposure, and they lend themselves nicely to easy social-media sharing. In this case, the ‘wonderland’ reference underscored Lake Placid’s long heritage as a winter destination and nicely promoted this week’s Lake Placid Holiday Village Stroll event,” Reilly observed via email.

CNN’s “wonderland” pick points millions of viewers to the Village Stroll set for Friday through Sunday, with many events in stores and on the twinkling streets.

The Village Stroll has become a well-attended family event, filling the hotels, as Main Street and area businesses turn holiday glitter on and the music up. More than 30 retailers and 17 restaurants are participating.

Email Kim Smith Dedam:



A link to the CNN feature naming Lake Placid as a winter wonderful can be found here: 

Find details about the Holiday Village Stroll at: