LAKE PLACID - It's been a busy season for the Lake Placid Toboggan Chute.
Butch Martin, the North Elba Parks District manager, said the toboggan chute has pulled in some $15,000 so far this winter.
"We've opened probably two weeks early this season." Martin said. "We've seen a lot of people there all the time, and next week will be busy with President's Day.
Dawn Becket and her daughters Venessa and Nina on vacation from Wayne, Pa. zip down the toboggan chute Friday afternoon.
(Photo — Matthew Turner)
"The fact is we've had a solid winter. A lot of people are in town."
It was the first time brother Alex Barto, 17, and Peter Barto, 15, of Smyrna, Ga., were at the toboggan chute Friday afternoon with their older cousin Jeff Andritz of Albany.
"I've been coming up here since I was a kid," Andritz said. "We decided to come up and do some winter activities. I like it up here. It's a big town and a small-town feel."
They skated around Mirror Lake and visited the Olympic Center. Last stop was the tobbogan chute before driving home. They climbed up to the top and then all three of them came roaring down the track.
"Man that was fast," Andritz said.
Joanne Tobiahs and her husband Jon of Floriham Park, N.J., had been on the toboggan chute before - and it was just how they remembered it.
"We love it," she said. "It's the best. It's great. It's still here 20 years later."
The couple met in Lake Placid two decades ago and came back up for the memories.
Dawn Becket and her daughters Venessa, 10, and Nina, 8, of Wayne, Pa., were vacationing with their grandparents in Lake Placid.
"We visited the (Saranac Lake) Ice Palace, we went skating on Mirror Lake, and tomorrow we plan to go snowmobiling," Dawn Becket said.
Becket and her daughters climbed up to the top of the toboggan chute for their first slide down.
"That was really fun," she said. "It was fast."
The tobbogan chute is a 30-foot high, converted ski jump trestle. It can send people as far as 1,000 feet across Mirror Lake.
The toboggan chute runs from noon to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Zack Clark, a toboggan chute operator, said they're hard at work trying to keep up with vacationers visiting. He said the reason they could open the toboggan chute sooner than normal this season was because the ice froze over earlier.
The crew began preparing the toboggan chute around the New Year. They packed ice into the track and then sprayed it with water from a garden hose.
"We opened in January, but then there was a warm spell and the track had to be rebuilt." Clark said. "It's been very busy, especially weekends and nights. We expect it be crazy busy this weekend with President's weekend."