History

Even before you enter our striking Gilded Age lobby, your eyes are drawn up to the vividly lit hotel sign atop the brick building in the center of the village. And you, like so many before you, intuitively recognize the brick building for what it truly is: the shining beacon, the icon of the Saranac Lake.

Scroll Down

1819

The Village of Saranac Lake is settled for the first time by non-natives as a remote camp for guides and lumbermen.

1876

Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau, arrives in Saranac Lake and sparks the development of the sanitorium village, resulting in Saranac Lake becoming a leader in the health care industry and scientific research.

1884

The Trudeau Sanitorium is founded, with the construction of Little Red, the first cure cottage.

1892

The Adirondack Railroad is built providing a direct connection from Penn Station (NYC) to Utica to Saranac Lake. The railroad station can be still be visited in downtown Saranac Lake.

1894

The Saranac Lake village is illuminated for the very first time by the Saranac Lake Light, Heat and Power Company. Additionally the Saranac Laboratory, next to what is now the Hotel Saranac Compass Suites tower, is built on Church Street. Historic Saranac Lake painstakingly restored the building and opened it as a museum in 2009 and can be explored during a visit to Saranac Lake.

The Village of Saranac Lake
An illustration of the Hotel in 1927

1897

The very first Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is hosted as a one-day "fancy dress" event sponsored by The Pontiac Club. Since the winter of 1947-48 this not-to-be-missed event has been held in Saranac Lake annually in February.

1901

Mark Twain vacations on Lower Saranac Lake and writes Conan Doyle spoof, "A Double-Barreled Detective Story".

1916

Mr. Edwin Stonaker makes the first ascent on skis of Mount Baker, now one of the beloved Saranac 6er trails. In the following years, Stonaker is successfully cured of TB in Saranac Lake and goes on to become president of the Northern New York Telephone and founder of the Saranac Lake Golf Club.

1925

Morton Marshall and JB Scopes form the Saranac Lake Hotel Corporation and prepare to open the iconic Hotel Saranac. The hotel sits where a 3 story wood-frame High School building once stood.

1927

An icon is born. Envisioned by the owner as a “true city hotel” equipped with modern innovations such as private baths for every one of its rooms, the Hotel Saranac opens on July 1, 1927. The first advertisement touts "modern, fireproof, 100 rooms, 100 baths, no invalids, European plan".

1928

Hotel is purchased by Frank Miller

1931

Within 5 years of opening the hotel becomes a preferred venue for community meetings and events, hosting groups such as the Franklin County League of Women Voters, ADK Council of Boy Scouts of America, and Northern NY headquarters of Women's Organization for the National Prohibition Reform.

1932

The hotel is booked solid five months in advance of the 1932 Winter Olympic games in Lake Placid.

1936

Albert Einstein visits his summer home in Saranac Lake and is often seen sailing with his wife on Lake Flower.

Illustration of the Hotel's dining hall
Old Dining Room

1937

Rita Marshall Snider, Morton Marshalls widow, retains ownership of the hotel.

1940's

The original Hotel Saranac sign is installed on top of the hotel, visible from miles away standing proudly as beacon of downtown Saranac Lake.

1948

New dining room in the Hotel Saranac is open.

1955

An observation post is constructed on top of the Hotel to assist the Civil Defense Committee in spotting unidentified foreign aircraft during WWII.

1956

Hotel is purchased by Norman Meyer.

1958

Recreational skiing is booming post-WWII and Whiteface Mountain opens, drawing major competitions and visitors from near and far.

1962

Paul Smith's College officially purchases the hotel to complement its Hotel, Resort and Culinary Management program by providing "on the job" experience for their students.

1974

The lobby ceiling is repainted to restore its resemblance with the Davanzati Palace of Florence Italy.

Old entry way
Building

1977

Major hotel renovations occur under the ownership of Paul Smith's College .

1980

Lake Placid hosts the 1980 Winter Olympics drawing thousands of athletes and spectators to the region.

1986

Hotel Saranac begins using its first computer system.

1996

Now accepting online reservations for the first time.

2002

Hotel Saranac celebrates its 75th birthday!

2006

The hotel is purchased by the Aurora family.

2008

Individual air conditioning units are installed in each room, providing an upgraded experience for guests. In 2017, the hotel reopens with luxurious individual digitally-controlled central air in each guest room.

2013

In 2013, the Roedel Companies, which has generation-spanning ties to Saranac Lake, purchases the building, which had fallen into disrepair. Grueling renovations follow, with the purpose to restore Hotel Saranac to its rightful splendor and to the Gilded Age magnificence that its creators had intended.

Hot Sara sign
Hotel Saranac

2014

Curio - A Collection by Hilton is founded on June 2, 2014

2016

Replica of the original Hotel Saranac sign that towers high above downtown Saranac Lake is installed on top of the hotel.

2017

Hotel joins Hilton's Curio brand, a collection of nationally recognized iconic hotels.

2017

Grand reopening of the iconic Hotel Saranac.