Outdoor writers find Lake Placid ‘ablaze’

I know most everyone reading that title is thinking fall foliage, but in this case it was additionally a small smoky fire. It wasn’t really a fire or blaze per se, just a brief Wednesday wee-hour morning smoldering short in the firewall of the historic Northwoods Inn (www.northwoodsinn.com) on Main Street in Lake Placid.

My wife Betty and I had just pulled into the Inn’s parking lot, only to be greeted by a fire truck that was parked near the building on the far side of the lot near the firewall that separated the Inn from the adjacent building. Hmm, not a good start for the 2009 NYS Outdoor Writers Conference and Annual Meeting that was to be housed primarily at the Inn, starting that Thursday.

Just as I was about to get out and ask what was going on, Mark Corr, the Inn’s manager, hustled over to our car and explained there had been a minor fire and that, due to safety codes, no one could stay in the Inn until fire inspectors thoroughly inspected and issued an okay. I thought, “Oh no, we have about 60 people due in for the conference, where will they go?” but Mark quickly put our minds at ease. “You’re booked into the Golden Arrow, right across the street.”

If you’ve ever been to Lake Placid – and I assume most of you have – then you know it’s a very tightly knit group, be it its citizens or businesses, and that one minor smoky incident brought out the very best that this history-laden village and area has to offer. When we got to the Golden Arrow, Margaret Marchuk, the Director of Media Relations for Lake Placid, was there to greet us, advising that we were already registered in a room there. Other attendees of the conference were likewise switched to there or alternate motels nearby. Needless to say, I gave her a big hug and thanked her for reactiing so quickly and professionally.

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