New Team Members Share Ties, Memories of Hotel Saranac
Laura Friebel’s first memory of Hotel Saranac came during one of her family’s annual camping trips to nearby Fish Creek Pond.
Her father secretly packed away formal evening attire among the family’s camping clothes and arranged for the kids to stay with grandparents, all without his wife knowing. The surprise was a special anniversary dinner for the two at Hotel Saranac in Saranac Lake, N.Y.
Twenty something years later, Laura is looking forward to helping other couples plan their special moments in her new role as Catering Sales Manager at Hotel Saranac, Curio Collection by Hilton.
The hotel, built in 1927, was purchased by Roedel Companies in 2014 and has been undergoing an extensive renovation that will be completed later this year. With the grand opening getting close, the hotel staff is being filled out.
Friebel is among the latest wave of staff members being added to a Hotel Saranac team that will grow to about 70 employees during peak season. Many, like Friebel, have already collected Hotel Saranac memories.
“Through our job fair and postings, we were able to put together a good pool of candidates to fill positions. The great thing is that many of them have ties to Saranac Lake and the Adirondacks,” says Michael Salyers, General Manager of Hotel Saranac. “They know all about Hotel Saranac.” Matt Newby had never been inside Hotel Saranac until a recent tour, but the new Sous Chef for the hotel’s Campfire Adirondack Grill + Bar has an intimate knowledge of what Hotel Saranac means to Saranac Lake after living in the village for the past two years.
“For a lot of people who live here, the hotel is something they take a lot of pride in. It’s their crown jewel,” says Newby, who has been cooking in the Adirondacks for almost 20 years. “This has always been a central place in town where everyone meets up.”
Job fair Hotel Saranac held in May drew over 150 job seekers. Salyers said upwards of 30 are in the finial process of being hired to fill positions in the front office, guest services, housekeeping, culinary, food and beverage, salon and spa.
Some had worked at Hotel Saranac previously or did their internship there while hospitality students at Paul Smith’s College, others had their high school prom or wedding there. Their love of the area and enthusiasm for the return of Hotel Saranac was overwhelming. Another job fair will be held later this year. Friebel was working in Binghamton, N.Y., when she saw the opening on the job posting site Indeed. She had spent several years working in Lake Placid and would rent a house with friends in Saranac Lake during the village’s annual Winter Carnival.
“I knew I couldn’t pass it by when I saw the posting,” Friebel said. “I knew the lifestyle and I wanted to go back.”
She is not alone. That is the power of Hotel Saranac.