SARANAC LAKE — Amidst an unorthodox year, the latest Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Visitor Guide promises a unique experience in a “decidedly different” village.
“It’s meant to be a snapshot of all of the great things that folks can do and see when they’re visiting Saranac Lake and its surrounding communities,” Chamber Executive Director Patrick Murphy said.
Murphy hoped the 36-page booklet showcased the Adirondack-based village as a vibrant, up-and-coming community to visitors both near and far.
“We wanted to highlight our arts community; we wanted to highlight our food scene,” he told the Press-Republican. “We wanted to highlight all of the things that make Saranac Lake unique and decidedly different.”
LATE 2020 RELEASE
The Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce sits right in the village at 31 Main St., and is operated by Murphy and co-worker Emma MacPherson, the welcome center and engagement coordinator.
The Visitor Guide, launched annually, was traditionally released in the springtime.
“It came out a little bit later than usual this year,” the executive director said, noting concerns of the novel coronavirus.
“Because of COVID-19, printing was halted until July.”
TROUBLE MARKETING TRAVEL
Promoting the Saranac Lake area during a global health crisis was a tricky balancing act, Murphy said.
“The biggest thing was the uncertainty with the travel market and getting a handle on where folks were in wanting to travel,” he said, “and whether or not our businesses were ready to accept visitors from outside of the area.”
After New York State issued regulations and guidelines, the chamber director thought it was the right time to invite visitors to area again.
“We were very careful to give the right message at the right time; we didn’t want to give the message that it was OK to start traveling when it really wasn’t.”
The Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce enlisted design group Sidekick Creative, out of Glens Falls, to help with the year’s guide.
The end result, which took about three months, looked different than Visitor Guides of years past, which was exactly what Murphy had hoped.
Compared to other guides, which read more like magazines, Murphy thought the Saranac Lake guide had a different type of structure, featuring lists and suggestions.
It also featured a graphic rendition of the Saranac Lake area on its cover, which Murphy thought added to its overall uniqueness.
“It’s quirky,” he said. “We’re proud of that, though, because Saranac Lake is a different kind of community; we wanted that to resonate in this piece.”
The Visitor Guide lists food stops, like Donnelly’s Ice Cream, promotes shops in its downtown, like the Village Mercantile, and highlights the Adirondack region with popular adventure sites, like The Wild Center, the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation and various nearby walking paths and hikes.
It’s art scene has a full page spread, too, titled “Arteries: The Life Blood of Saranac Lake.”
Saranac Lake Artworks is listed there, promoting local artisans and some virtual exhibits.
Sparked by the pandemic, many restaurants have noted an uptick in takeout orders, and with COVID-19 in mind, the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce featured a map highlighting areas with picnic tables for outdoor eating.
Listed there were parks like Dorsey Park, Beaver Park, Riverside Park and Prescott Park.
This year’s edition did not include specific hours or events, but instead directed readers to that information.
“We just tried to be open that everything in the guide might not be true to form,” Murphy said, “because of the current state that we’re in.”
PICKING ONE UP
Murphy said Visitor Guides could be found at the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center, as well as at various shops, restaurants and local stores in the village and surrounding areas.
An e-edition was also featured on the chamber’s Facebook page.
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