Next time you’re strolling through downtown Saranac lake, look up—you’ll notice one name stands out above the bustle:

Hot Sara.

For those unfamiliar, it can seem like this name comes only from that which is missing. In fact, it relies so much more on that which is there to stay.

To understand the history of “Hot Sara,” you have to understand the history of Hotel Saranac, and why our iconic rooftop sign has been such a defining element of our cozy Adirondack village.

Although Hotel Saranac has stood at the center of downtown Saranac Lake for over nine decades, our iconic rooftop sign first made its appearance in the 1940s. Ever since then, it’s been a staple of every visit here and enjoyed a commanding presence among the vistas offered by our local mountains.

But even that place of prominence couldn’t protect the sign from the effects of age. As time passed and the hotel fell into disrepair, the sign started to lose its luster—and, eventually, the entire right half of the lighted letters.

The result: “Hot Sara,” emblazoned above town for all to see.

What started as a malfunction quickly became a local legend, and for those “in the know,” the legend of “Hot Sara” started to spread. Eventually, the moniker became something of a synonym for Hotel Saranac itself, with locals and guests referring to “a visit to Hot Sara” when discussing their stay here in Saranac Lake.

Fast forward to 2013, and a renewed push by new owner Roedel Companies to restore the historic Hotel Saranac to its former glory for modern, 21st-century guests. Obviously, the legend of “Hot Sara” needed to be respected and carried on, and so we did just that.

Today, our newly-renovated and restored Hotel Saranac proudly boasts a new rooftop sign ready to shine out above town each and every night… but take a closer look on special occasions and you may just spot “Hot Sara,” returned yet again to offer a bit of that storied magic to those visiting today.

Want to come and see “Hot Sara” for yourself? Start planning your stay here at the historic Hotel Saranac and discover what stories of your own await you in our inviting Adirondack village.

Plan Your Stay

One name has stood out above downtown for decades. Learn why she’s the talk of the town!
Hot Sara