LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It all began in 1971. “I decided the village was going in the wrong direction and I wanted to return its identity as a welcoming place for families, and a safe place to live and raise a family,” Robert Blais, Mayor of the Village of Lake George, said.

Robert Blais has been a familiar face in the Mayor’s Office in the Village of Lake George for 52 years. As mayor, he spearheaded economic development efforts for the area, keeping shops open and drawing visitors year-round with events like the Lake George Winter Carnival, Ice Castles, and Americade. 

“Anything that we could think of, we tried to bring people here,” Blais said. “We knew once they came to Lake George and they experienced what we had here, they’d be back.” 

The area saw some of its biggest visitor numbers after the start of the pandemic and Blais said the best is yet to come. 

“There’s never been a bad season in Lake George, there’s good, there’s better, there’s best and there’s best ever,” Blais said. “I’m still waiting for the best ever.”

Despite all of his success, Blais said he couldn’t have done it alone. “Behind every single project, behind every single construction job we did, behind every problem we solved, there was a team,” Blais said. “A team of people that worked diligently and were dedicated to making Lake George a better place.”

Mayor Blais’s last day is March 29. As he looks to his retirement, he plans to continue serving the village by working on events in the area. “The future is bright,” Blais said. “We’d like to think we are leaving Lake George in a better place than we found it.”