Lake George businesses excited about reopening of Canadian border

LAKE GEORGE – The travel ban had enormous social and cultural impact, especially for our neighbors to the north and the New York communities right on the border.

The Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce says they’re ecstatic that Canadians are able to come back to these businesses starting next month.

The chamber’s membership director says in a non-pandemic year, Canadians could make up anywhere from 12% to 30% percent of business in Lake George. Sometimes this area is just a day trip to people from the Montreal area.

The Fort William Henry hotel says that when the exchange rate is good, Canadian families will come and stay, and can account for up to 5% of their business.

Some hotels were able to do well last summer, serving new customers from New York City and Western New York. Both the chamber and hotel say they think there’s plenty of pent-up demand from our neighbors to the north, and they’re counting on them to come down here with open arms and open wallets.

"They come for shopping and dining and lodging and attractions. Our hotels were able to recoup a bit. I think the ones that miss them the most were dining, attractions," said Kim Saheim, with the Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce.

"We felt the non-presence of Canadian visitors, ‘cause they’re such great people and you always know them. We have VIPs that are Canadian," said Sam Luciano, the president of the Fort William Henry Corporation.

"We had one of the best summers we’ve ever had with other transient business, but that with the people that found Lake George for the first time and Warren County with the presence of the Canadians next year, should present for an even better year in [20]22 than [20]21."

Hear why things are expected to stay busy in Lake George even though the reopening comes after the summer season, by watching the video of Stella Porter’s story.