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Hospitality not hostility
July 23, 2009 - Cathy Moore
Lake Placid draws visitors from all over the world for a host of different reasons. We are proud to show off our Olympic venues, scenic peaks and lakes, but much more than that is the friendliness and hospitality we show as people enter our quaint mountainous villages.
I use to live in a tourist area in Naples, Florida, where residents made their living catering to visitors during the season. I also was surprised to hear them say "I can't wait until they leave," which was one of the milder comments. It was hard for me to understand why they would bite the hand that fed them.
When it comes to our busy season, the majority of residents are smart enough to treat our visitors as if they were family. I believe the isolated rude comments and incidents are made by only a few.
Sure, they might say they don't see the millions of dollars that events like Ironman bring in, because they are not looking. The obvious signs are High Peaks Cyclery and Placid Planet frantically working on bikes, Price Chopper's shelves cleared of healthy food and water, drug stores wiped out of aspirin and Band-Aids, hotels and campsites are full, and restaurants are packed even beyond the Lake Placid area.
This is what gives us jobs to support our families, which is something we are all thankful for, especially in this rough economy.
Let's embrace the visitors and deal with the inconvenience for the short time they are here because without them, we would be just be another hostile little town. I believe the best boost we can give to our economy and our soul is a sincere friendly smile and a "hello" to welcome people who come here.
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