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Lake Placid hotels take different approaches to COVID-19

LAKE PLACID — Hoteliers here are responding in different ways as concerns mount over the spread of the novel coronavirus and public officials encourage people to stay home.

The owners of the Mirror Lake Inn, Ed and Lisa Weibrecht, announced Monday, March 16 on social media that the historic hotel will temporarily close in an effort to stem the spread of the virus.

“As a family-owned and operated organization, the safety and well-being of both our staff and our guests remain our priority. Additionally, we feel strongly that we have a social responsibility to do our part to assist in ‘flattening the curve’ and to help slow the spread of the virus,” the Weibrechts wrote. “We are working closely with our loyal and hardworking staff to mitigate the impact that this decision will have on them and their families, and we look forward to re-opening to the public again as soon as is safely possible.”

The Mirror Lake Inn has been open since the mid-1920s, when it operated as the Mir-a-Lac Inn under the Wikoff family. It was renamed the Mirror Lake Inn in 1933.

According to spokesman Sandy Caligiore, this is the first time in the hotel’s history it has been closed because of a pandemic. It’s unclear when it will open again.

“Like everyone else, we want to return to normal sooner rather than later, when deemed safe,” he said.

Guests will be able to cancel their reservations without a fee, according to Caligiore.

Other Lake Placid hotels are not closing.

The Crowne Plaza Resort & Golf Club temporarily stopped offering buffets, instead offering guests direct room service. According to IHG Hotels & Resorts, a hospitality company that includes the Crowne Plaza brand, all of its hotels will waive cancellation fees for existing and new bookings for stays between March 9 and April 30. Arthur Lussi, co-owner of Lake Placid’s Crowne Plaza, said it will use this time to do some construction projects, such as a needed roof repair.

The Weber family, which has operated the Wildwood on the Lake since 1971, said on social media Saturday, March 14 that their hotel will remain open.

“We are still open for business and so is most of Lake Placid,” the family wrote. “If you are sick or recently traveled to regions of the world where on return self-quarantine is advised, please stay home and follow CDC protocol. You are welcome here as soon as the pandemic is under control or ended, and it will end.”

The Golden Arrow on Main Street is also operating as normal, according to co-owner Peter Holderied. The Holderied family has notified the hotel’s guests of the closure of the Whiteface Mountain Ski Area and surrounding communities, and customers will be able to cancel their reservations. Holderied said the hotel will use this downtime to undergo some improvement projects.