Mary Jane Lawrence is the COO of ROOST, the Lake Placid area’s Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism. As Lake Placid gets set to welcome athletes from across the globe for the World University Games in January, no time to her was better than now to make what she was were needed infrastructure upgrades.
“First and foremost, it is about enhancing our communities by making our Main Street more walkable and more accessible for our stores and our restaurants, our parking and a more enjoyable experience for the people who live here," Lawrence said.
So the sidewalks, the parking, the beauty sites, all of Lake Placid’s downtown is getting a massive upgrade.
“That’s a huge checkmark. It’s going to be visually beautiful. Not only will we have brand new sidewalks, and curbing and roads, but we’re going to have a tremendous amount of flowers and visually it will just be very beautiful," she added.
Once all of that is done – and the goal is to have it finished by the time the World University Games start – the tourism focus can shift to the games and making sure the people who come have the best time ever.
Tourism used to be about finding ways to get people to a community. Social media has changed that.
Lake Placid hopes that the in-market experience, which they anticipate will be shared by many people from around the world, will be what brings those people back and introduces brand new people to what Lake Placid has to offer.
“Those wonderful experiences, people leave and they tell one person on social media and if they leave with not such a positive experience, they tell 10 people. For us, the in-market experience is really important to us," Lawrence said.
The World University Games begin January 12.