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High Peaks Resort, Formerly the Lake Placid (NY) Hilton, Reopened Following
 Multi-million Dollar Renovation by its Owner, Lane Hospitality
By Dan Heath, The Press-Republican, Plattsburgh, N.Y.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Aug. 17, 2008 - -High Peaks Resort, formerly the Lake Placid Hilton, recently reopened after a multi-million dollar renovation.

The resort is owned and operated by Lane Hospitality, based in Northbrook, Ill. Lane Hospitality President and Chief Executive Officer Bill DeForrest said local high-quality lodging options such as the Mirror Lake Inn, Crowne Plaza Resort and Golf Club and Whiteface Lodge led to the decision to take on the multi-million dollar renovation project.

"We felt this was the right thing to do, especially with the quality of the other lodging options in Lake Pacid," he said.

High Peaks Resort Director of Marketing Bill Gathen said the name change became official June 7.

"We now have to rebuild our name on travel Web sites. We have to build the name recognition," Gathen said.

He said Lane Hospitality left on great terms with the Hilton brand.

"It was the time to make the conversion to our own name," Gathen said.

The lobby and main hallway feature stone and wood columns along the walls, with a combination of slate, wood and carpeted floors. DeForrest said the finish is very rich, and quite appropriate for the Adirondack region, yet has a contemporary style.

There are 79 rooms with double queen-sized beds and 54 with king-sized beds, several with direct waterfront access, fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. Every room on the property has its own outdoor deck, and many offer wonderful views of Mirror Lake and the surrounding mountains.

Rich wood finishes, granite counters, expansive work spaces, warmly colored fabrics and high-quality linens add to the comfort of each room. Flat screen televisions offer cable, pay movie and video game service.

All rooms have a sleeper sofa, so families with children can stay together. They also have coffee pots, a mini-fridge, an iPod compatible clock radio and wired and wireless Internet access.

DeForrest said the bathrooms were a huge upgrade. The stone-tiled bathrooms now feature rainfall shower heads directly overhead and the stone-covered wall finish runs out past the shower door.

There are two suites in the main building. Each has a bedroom, living room and bathroom with separate shower and water-jet tub.

Another set of 20 rooms and eight suites is located right on Mirror Lake. They were all previously renovated.

The water runs right under the suite decks to provide close-up views of the lake and the sound of lapping water.

Rooms start at $199 per night, not including tax and service charges.

There are multiple dining options on site.

Reflections restaurant underwent a soft opening a couple weeks ago. The restaurant offers spectacular views of Mirror Lake and the High Peaks region.

It is open for dinner and features dazzling presentations that use fresh produce and the finest seafood and meats form the United States and Canada.

The varied entrees include sliced buffalo loin with brussel sprouts, carrots, potatoes and crawfish butter, rack of Vermont lamb with cilantro crust, eggplant puree, ginger-glazed baby carrots and artichoke crisps and seared Maine sea scallops with braised carrots, leeks, sorrel and baby potatoes.

One large round table is situated in a small alcove which can be screened off for private dining. That space is called Legends, and will feature pictures of some of the movers and shakers that have made Lake Placid such a popular destination, DeForrest said.

Gathen said Food and Beverage Director Erik Mrdak has created a diverse wine collection, with 47 wines from all over the world. Wine tastings are available.

Still to come is a large outdoor patio. It will be able to hold about 90 people, with regular dining tables and a fire pit, full bar and couches.

"The outdoor deck will have one of the more stunning views I've ever seen," DeForrest said.

Dancing Bears nightclub is under construction beneath Reflections, and is expected to open within a couple weeks. The nightclub's new location will now have access from Main Street.

"This will be a great Main Street establishment," DeForrest said.

Gathen said it will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu features an American-style flair.

Appetizers include sizzling mussels, cornmeal-dusted calamari and shrimp tempura, while sandwiches, burgers and pizza round out the lunch and dinner menus. Ribs, steaks, pasta and more are also available after 5 p.m.

The two restaurants are connected by a stairwell.

"It connects the two concepts, yet lets them stand alone," Gathen said.

High Peaks Resort recently named its newly opened lobby lounge PRs, in honor of Peter Roland Sr., whose parents bought the Homestead bed and breakfast in 1922.

"We wanted to pay respect to him and what he's done," DeForrest said. "He's a good counselor for me. I always try to see him when I'm in town.

The Roland family ran the inn until it was razed in 1978. The Hilton was built in 16 months and opened Aug. 15, 1979, in time for the 1980 Winter Olympics.

Roland Sr. sold the Hilton to Lane Hospitality in 1998. His son, Peter Roland Jr., said he was pleased to see his father recognized by the current ownership.

"I think this is great," he said, noting the photographs from his father's life on the lounge walls. "There is a lot of hospitality history here."

The lounge features a variety of sofas, armchairs and a two-sided stone fireplace.

In all, there are 10 separate meeting rooms, about 10,000 square feet total, capable of accommodating about 800 people. Several have immediate access to the pool and courtyard area.

The Marcy Board Room features a 60-inch plasma flatscreen television, gas fireplace, mahogany conference table, ergonomically designed leather chairs and computer and audio-visual hook-ups. The room seats 12, and is even available for small, private dinners.

"There aren't many places where you'll find a luxury boardroom with these kind of views and a fireplace," DeForrest said.

A new exercise room, with loads of natural light and views of the outdoor pool, has weights, treadmills, orbitals and stationary cycles. DeForrest said every piece of cardio equipment has a television screen and iPod connectivity.

There is a new business center, with two computer work stations, fax machine and printer. It has Wi-Fi wireless Internet service, which is also available throughout the building.

"It's a nice feature to have, but we hope our guests don't use it," DeForrest said. "They're here to have a good time, not here to be working."

Bernadette Hanrahan runs the resort's Aveda Concept Spa and Salon, which is also located right on Main Street.

The property features three indoor or outdoor pools. Kayaks, rowboats and paddleboats are available at no charge. A multitude of recreational and shopping opportunities are available nearby, including golf, skiing, Olympic Regional Development Authority venues, fishing, hiking, snowmobiling and more.

DeForrest said General Manager John Dodson has put together a great service package, with concierge and bell service available for any issues that come up or simply for information.

"That makes it easy for our guests to relax and have a good time," he said.

Later this year or next spring, the outdoor pool area is up for its own renovation. That will include a new patio, which will be available for outdoor receptions.

The entire exterior of the property will get a facelift this fall or early next year, Gathen said.

dheath@pressrepublican.com

For more information

Visit www.highpeaksresport.com or call 523-4411 or 1-800-755-5598. To schedule an event or wedding, contact the sales office at 523-4411 or sales@highpeaksresort.com.

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To see more of The Press-Republican or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.pressrepublican.com/.

Copyright (c) 2008, The Press-Republican, Plattsburgh, N.Y.

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