LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Labor Day, the rain sprinkled down slow and steady over the village, from a stony grey sky. It wasn’t exactly the most beautiful weather to end a holiday weekend and summer season – but the rest of the weekend was plenty busy in its own right, according to the local chamber of commerce that keeps a close eye on its streets, sidewalks and – pivotally – businesses.
“We saw a lot more families than in other Labor Day weekends past,” said Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce President Gina Mintzer on Monday. “Oftentimes those families are busy getting ready for school and we see more empty nester couples, but a lot of (hotels partnered with the chamber) saw a lot of families.”
The weekend also rang the summer out with some special events. The Adirondack Independence Music Festival played at Charles R. Wood Festival Commons Friday-Sunday, Sept. 2-4. The festival drew nearly 20 bands, as well as an influx of out-of-towners. Mintzer said the festival brought in many who hadn’t come to the Lake George region before.
The sidewalks were fairly quiet on Monday morning in the village, but a light rainfall couldn’t keep everyone off the lake. The Lake George Steamboat Company had the Minnie-Ha-Ha and its other boats running cruises, after hosting Saturday night fireworks. Parasailers and regular boaters also found one more day of fun out on the water, despite the gloom in the air.
At the same time, a drive south from the village required patience. Traffic slowed down to a 20 mph crawl or below going southbound on the Northway, with construction compounding with an excess of drivers leaving the area. Mintzer said that even on Saturday, a drive up Lake George from the village to Bolton Landing and Up Yonda Farm revealed a mix of “vacancy” and “no vacancy” signs.
How to spend a rainy day
At the Lake George Visitor Center at the corner of Beach Road and Canada Street, attendant Steve Butterfield was having a fairly slow morning. He and others staffing the center provide tourists with resources and things to do, advice on hiking and other outdoor events, and – when the weather gets grey – things to do when the lake isn’t inviting.
When someone comes in seeking something to do on a rainy day, Butterfield gives them a list made by the chamber of commerce. It includes arcades, like Fun World and Kingpin’s Alley; boat cruises like the steamboats; and Beach Road escape room attraction Escape LG.
Other things on the list direct visitors outside of the village. Some send them further into the Adirondacks, like Revolution Rail and classes with glassblower Gregory Tomb in North Creek. Many more will take them south to Glens Falls and Queensbury, like the Chapman Museum and the Glen Drive-In movie theater.
Monday’s rain isn’t the only thing that can drive that kind of traffic, either. The summer had its share of hot and dry spells, pushing some toward the lake, but others to places with air conditioning. And the region saw the benefits.
“With the dry, hot summer compared to last year, a lot of indoor activities were off the charts,” said Mintzer. “It’s everything from the Hyde Museum to the Warren County Historical Society.”
Labor Day weekend may herald the end of summer, but that doesn’t mean it’s time for things to die down in the village. This coming week, the Adirondack Nationals Car Show comes to the village, bringing classic cars from Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 8-11. Mintzer says the cars should start rolling in as soon as Tuesday.