Beyond Flood Relief – A Long Lake Tradition

Near the Long Lake Town Bridge on Route 30, overlooking a widening of the Raquette River, one will discover the Adirondack Hotel with one of the premier locations in the Adirondack North Country with a spectacular view of the high peaks at the far end of the lake.

The original Adirondack Hotel, Kellogg’s Lake House, opened in the 1860’s, only to burn in 1898. The current structure dates, in part from 1899. The hotel has a rich history. Famous people who have visited the Adirondack Hotel include Helen Keller, Ann Sullivan, Rod Stewart and Mick Jagger. Albert Einstein put guests up at the hotel. Yankee legend Mickey Mantle stayed there. An unverified local legend contents that Theodore Roosevelt once joined a mysterious woman for breakfast there.

The Hotel Adirondack was touted in 1923 as offering “excellent rooms, light, airy and attractively furnished. Meals were pronounced universally good, with first class service.
There were modern accommodations for 75 persons from $25 per week.”

In 1990 Carol and Art Young took over the reins. The first five years was a struggle to correct the infrastructure to make it safe and usable. It required investment in re-wiring the hotel and re-doing the septic to modern day safety standards.

It was very difficult to procure financing, in fact, they had a private mortgage with the seller because the banks wouldn’t talk to the owners. After obtaining two loans from local New York State, Adirondack agencies, and establishing excellent credit the banks were willing to talk. Once the banking relationships were established, getting a loan was not a problem.

Carol and Carmine Inserra now operate the hotel which is one of the top ten employers in Hamilton County with 36 staff in the summer and 12 year round staff.

Making it through the winter is very difficult financially. In 2010 it was particularly hard as food costs increased by 20%, less people visited, fuel costs increased significantly and skyrocking costs of insurance, payroll taxes, workman’s compensation and disability insurance added to the tab.

But these issues are not Carol and Carmine’s alone. There are several year-round hospitality businesses, lodging and dining operating in Long Lake and every single one feels the pinch of the economy which makes suffering the loss from a flood even more devastating and impactful on the Adirondack community as a whole. Keene Valley and Ausable, NY post-Irene are no exceptions to this rule.

Why the Hotel? Why now? Why raise the money? Because if the hotel closes, the town loses its heart and it’s center. It loses 12 year round jobs which multiply into dollars in the community and children for our school. Closing businesses now? We’re just getting started! We need all the beds we can get!

Photo by Pat O'Brien


In April, 2011, The 100 Year Flood occurred. The flooding had a disastrous impact on the hotel. It was closed for 10 days. Both boilers were destroyed and needed to be replaced. The cellar was flooded and boilers were ruined. Luckily friendly neighbors stepped up. The Cellar Restaurant and Pub, only just recovering from a flood in March, offered the use of their coolers and freezers. The Army National Guard and Long Lake’s Fire Department provided pumps to help clear the cellar of water. The pumps were finally turned off at the end of May. There was mandated flood insurance, with a $50,000 deductible, but the criteria determined by the insurance company did not meet the requisite deductible and the Adirondack Hotel was liable for all damages incurred. Damage to the driveway, kitchen floor, veranda, loss of business was not eligible for coverage. Total damage including loss of business amounted to $130,000.

The Adirondack Hotel Flood Benefit is a chance to re-coup the loss and infuse capital into a part of Long Lake’s history to keep the doors open.

Carol Inserra believes that part of reason hotel is successful (operating since 1860s) is because the community loves it and understands its place in the history and its importance in relation to the viability of the town. When pressed why she stays in business, Carol’s response, “I love it!”

On Saturday, September 24th from 2pm to 2am, approximately 25 Adirondack Hotel staffers will be working gratis donating their time and Saturday shifts to benefit the hotel and raise money for this effort.

There will be a silent auction featuring original artwork, watercolor painting, photographs by Jim Swedburg and Pat Sullivan. Bid on beautiful handmade purses and jewelry and original artwork by Louisa Woodworth. Pagel’s has donated a fruit basket, the Adirondack Museum has donated tickets and the Olympic Regional Development Agency in Lake Placid has donated a two night stay a condo in Lake Placid.

There will be a variety of Flood Relief t-shirts on sale as well as painted pint glasses.

The menu includes Kilcoyne Burgers (donated by Kilcoyne Farms), Hot Dogs, Sausage, Peppers and Onions, Baked Beans, Potato Salad and Chips. The regular kitchen will not be open for dining service on Saturday. Tickets are $30 a person and $50 a couple. Rooms are all sold out for Friday and Saturday night. Please check mylonglake.com for lodging information and hot deals.

There will be live music all day both inside and outside during the event. Musicians include: Singer Guitarist Peter Vroman, Jay Lamica and his band, The Jay Walken Band, The Fat River Kings (Steve Signell, Brian Beaudin, Jason Hall), The Dark Marbles (Yod Crewsy,Tony and Deb Stuppiello, from Brooklyn, NY and Eric Peter) Rocky and the Moose Knuckles (Rocky Petrocelli, John DonVito, Dave and Mike Stockman,with Eric Peter,) John Wyle, Terry Chaiken and the Nerney Brothers.

Tickets are $30 per person or $50 per couple. All proceeds to benefit the Adirondack Hotel Flood relief which suffered over $130,000 in damages and none of it was covered by Flood Insurance or FEMA. Keep the doors of the oldest hotel in the Adirondacks OPEN. Call 518-624-4700 for tickets.

The entire event was organized by concerned staffers and former employees of the Adirondack Hotel whose mission is to keep the doors open and their jobs.

The Town of Long Lake appreciates the rich history of the hotel and all the historical lodging facilities we have to offer on our shores. The fabric of Long Lake relies upon it’s hospitality business, not only has the Adirondack Hotel been in business for over a century, other lodgings including the Shamrock Motel & Cottages has been family owned and operated since 1928, Green Harbor Motel & Cottages has been in operation, first as a logging company dormitory and a then destination for over 80 years. Other long time lodgings open and operating on the shores of Long Lake include: Quackenbush’s Long View Wilderness Lodge, Sandy Point Motel and Cottages, Water’s Edge Cottages, Donnelly’s Sunset Point, Journey’s End Cottages and Motel Long Lake. Join our vibrant lodging family and make Long Lake a destination on your next vacation. We are open all year long.

Other restaurants in Long Lake include, The Cellar Restaurant and Pub, the Long Lake Diner & Owl’s Head Pub, the Cyber Creek Café, Hoss’s Country Coner, Flavor, Kickerville Mobil and Quackenbush’s Long View Lodge.

SOURCES

Adirondack Eats
Restaurant Guide
By Matt DeLaMater and Molly Irvine

History of Hamilton County
By Ted Aber and Stella King

The Schenectady Gazette
Long Lake Hotel guests step back into 1900s Adirondacks
July 31, 2005
The Tupper Lake Free Press
The Bridges Over Long Lake
By Thomas T. Bissell

Long Lake Archives
Town of Long Lake

Bob Lucci
Carol Young
Tom Bissell