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Lake Placid businesses try to salvage summer season

Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 6:09 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The pandemic has cut many vacations, including in the Adirondacks, where tourism plays a major role in the local economy. Our Kelly O’Brien spoke with Lake Placid businesses to get an update on the summer.

The streets are full in the village of Lake Placid, but that wasn’t the case five-months ago. ”We projected where we thought the next eight months would go,” said Jim McKenna with the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism. He says the tourist town was expected to be down 65% percent from last year’s activity. “We’re actually doing a lot better.”

McKenna credits the region's low infection rates as a part of its success and the village's appeal and close proximity to more populated areas.

"It's busy. It's crazy busy," said Rosanne Johnson with Adirondack Decorative Arts and Crafts on Main Street. The store with trinkets and treats relies on tourist dollars to stay open. "I would say at least 70 to 80 percent."

Across the street at Two Harts clothing shop, Eliza Barney says their customers come in waves. "It's kind of random. Sometimes it's busy, sometimes its not," she said. She says she's nervous about a spike in COVID cases stemming from out of town visitors. "I'm glad the businesses are open, but I just hope nothing bad happens. I hope there isn't another shut down or anything like that."

Masks are required in any shop and on the streets in the village. The tourism office says a surge in cases remains a concern which is why they are monitoring visitors from hot spot areas closely. “We are staying on top of that and we have had very good compliance,” McKenna said.

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