LAKE PLACID – Mirror Lake Inn and Lake Placid provide one of the longer holiday seasons you will find in snow country. It begins in just a few weeks, and because of the community’s and the hotel’s connections to the Winter Olympics, we’ll continue the excitement into January.
It’s just after Thanksgiving and the 300,000 lights across the sprawling seven acres comprising the AAA Four Diamond Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa help create a one- month celebration of that most wonderful time of the year.
Past visitors will attest: the holiday season in Lake Placid and our resort property go well beyond the week between Christmas and New Years. We know this is a special time of the year, so we’ve expanded it.
And if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate with snowfall, our staff will fill in for her. As long as it’s cold enough, we’ll fire up our snowmaking machines and create a winterscape for guests young and young at heart.
While the exterior lights trumpet the holidays, by early December the Inn’s common areas inside the resort, adorned with Christmas trees, poinsettia, balls and boughs, provide an appropriate ambiance for those enjoying a holiday beverage, cookies or a quiet conversation.
As this is an Olympic season, we actually begin the festivities over Thanksgiving weekend with Skate America in the Olympic Center. This prestigious figure skating event will help determine the athletes you will see on television during the Winter Games from South Korea in February.
In fact, the Inn’s Olympic heritage involves family. Andrew Weibrecht, son of Mirror Lake Inn owners Ed and Lisa Weibrecht, has Olympic silver (2014) and bronze (2010) medals that greet guests at the front desk. Andrew is currently attempting to qualify for his third Olympic berth.
The hotel’s connection to the Games dates back to the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid when the hotel billeted the Norwegian team.
The actual kick-off for the holidays is Lake Placid’s premiere social event, the 31st anniversary of Joy to the Children, on Thursday, December 7. Held in collaboration with the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, Joy to the Children is an annual fundraiser at the Mirror Lake Inn, supporting the mission of raising needed funds for children’s programs at our local arts center. All proceeds from ticket sales and the silent auction benefit this cause.
Hosted by the Weibrecht family, attendees enjoy extraordinary food, drink and service, compliments of the Inn’s staff, in this season of giving.
On this evening, Ed and Lisa open their resort to over 500 gala attendees, who range from local and regional officials, to members of the Lake Placid athletic and tourism worlds, to business leaders in the community.
All facets of life here and in the surrounding region intersect once a year at Joy to the Children.
Mirror Lake Inn staff restores the property within a matter of hours, just in time to welcome visitors and residents for the Holiday Village Stroll. The ninth annual event, held village-wide, takes place December 8-10.
Friday features an ice skating party and live music; On Saturday, you can participate in the Jingle Bell Walk/Run, bring the kids to the Mirror Lake Inn for holiday story time and view the Christmas tree lighting in Mid’s Park on Main Street; Sunday begins with breakfast with Santa at the Mirror Lake Inn, the movie The Polar Express at the Palace Theater, and special Holiday Village Stroll offers for skiers and riders at Whiteface Mountain.
Visitors should make room for a Main Street stroll where many unique shops will have that perfect holiday gift.
If any Mirror Lake Inn families would like jolly ol’ St. Nick to stop by, just make that request known in advance, or book the “Visit from Santa” package.
As all of this is unfolding, winter sports on snow and ice come alive for the season as temperatures fall and snow totals rise.
World Cup luge racing, featuring an Olympic field of competitors, hits the Lake Placid track December 15-16. The events will occur less than two months prior to the aforementioned 2018 Winter Olympics, and act as qualifying races for the Games.
Whiteface Mountain, which opens in late November, adds terrain in December on a daily basis for skiing and riding. The Olympic network of cross country trails at Mount Van Hoevenberg, the Whiteface Club Golf Course and the Cascade Ski Touring Center all come online at this time with Nordic skiing and snow shoeing.
Along the same lines, and at the same venue, public bobsled. luge and skeleton rides will be offered between Christmas and New Year’s. Get the experience on the final seven curves of the track where the world’s best and fastest athletes compete.
The holidays are a special time at the Mirror Lake Inn, honored with the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award as the number one resort in New England and the mid-Atlantic region. Furthermore, it was ranked 11th in the entire country by Conde Nast Traveler readers, and secured a number 8 ranking in Jetsetter’s 12 Best Inns in the U.S.
After Christmas Eve dinner in The View Restaurant, Lake Placid’s only AAA Four Diamond rated dining establishment, the booklets are handed out and one hour of caroling takes place from 9-10 PM. Restaurant Manager Katie Welch (vocals), Executive Housekeeper Steve Wyle (guitar) and former Lake Placid Police Chief Mike Saulpaugh (piano) lead the traditional holiday songs as guests join from the dining room, and visitors arrive from the village. The hour includes homemade cookies and eggnog.
“The atmosphere we create here reminds me of the popular holiday song, ‘Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go’,” says Mirror Lake Inn owner Ed Weibrecht. “It’s that sense of family and being at home with your loved ones that our staff delivers to each guest. We’re glad people decide to spend this time of the year with us, so it’s important that we give them the environment and warmth of being home for the holidays.”
Now you are in the mood for the season. But we’re not done yet as events and activities abound until the end of the year and well beyond.
World Cup freestyle skiing, another yearly event, brings the sport’s best aerial skiers to Lake Placid January 19-20. The buzz will be palpable as this is the final chance for athletes to qualify for the Winter Olympics, set to begin just 18 days later.
As we said at the top, the holidays here extend well beyond one traditional week. We hope you can experience some of these events and activities with us, making this a joyous and blessed season for you and your family.
The staff at grandmother’s house awaits.