HISTORY IS COOL: 100 years ago

March 23, 1923

A vision for tourism

Seymour Dunn, golf director at the Lake Placid Club, has been meeting with the committee of the chamber of commerce, of which he is a member, while they have been planning for a new public golf course and has expressed many of his views regarding the needs of sports development in Lake Placid.

His views are a result of the 16 years of observation while in his present position — a position that has kept him in constant contact with the most desirable class of summer visitors.

Mr. Dunn told the News that Lake Placid should be planning to entertain 500,000 summer guests instead of 5,000. Why? He has visited the mountain resorts of the East and has found not one for which nature has done so much as for Lake Placid. The combination of mountain scenery and lakes, the bracing air, and the almost uniformly cool nights, are a combination that cannot be equaled in the East.

As to the competition of the West, that does not affect us so much. For Lake Placid is in the very heart of the wealthiest part of the entire globe.

Within a day’s ride, for the most past within a night’s ride, are many large and prosperous cities, including New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Cleveland, Buffalo, Rochester, Toronto, Montreal and Boston.

In the face of this unparalleled opportunity, that which has been done to attract visitors is relatively small.

To be sure the Main Street pavement, the new school, the new town hall, are all good in their way, but they are not the things that directly attract summer visitors. The things that will attract and hold these summer guests are, as has been abundantly proved, is provision for sports.

Mr. Dunn urges upon the people of Lake Placid the creation of a sports center and proposes buying a tract of at least 500 acres for the purpose. If the people of Lake Placid form and incorporate an Amusement Association and get hold of the land, the rest would be comparatively easy.

But why have one big sports center? Why not buy a few acres here and a few acres there?

First, Mr. Dunn said, one big sports center would be a big advertisement. It would be talked about. It would lend itself to picture-taking.

Second, the enthusiasm that is in numbers comes with such a center. Were the 24 tennis courts of the Lake Placid Club scattered here and there, instead of being grouped in one arena, there would be fewer players and spectators.

The scheme lends itself to tournaments that would attract attention in the newspapers.

On 500 acres, Mr. Dunn says, there should be room for three 18-hole golf courses, perhaps two or three nine-hole courses; 20 or 30 tennis courts; a crack up-to-date baseball diamond; and other things.

He would only build, say, a nine-hole course and two or three tennis courts at present, but he would look into the future and buy the land for a gradual development of bigger things.

EXPLORE the Lake Placid News archives for yourself. Beware, though, you can easily fall into a rabbit hole while rummaging through this history. Have fun!

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