Whiteface Mountain Ski Center Resort Professional Review and Guide
"Lake Placid, no longer a playground of the rich and storied, is now an egalitarian winter-sports center with a plethora of medium-price accommodations. Families and groups of college students with varied interests and conservative budgets take advantage of the diverse options available within close range. In other words, Lake Placid appeals to the dreadlocked ki bum puttering around in the old VW bus just as much as the luxury car–driving season-pass-holder in the expensive powder suit. Evidence of Olympic influence is everywhere, from the unsurpassed—in the eastern United States, at least—Olympic winter-sports facilities to the extensive services in town. You could easily spend a couple of days in Lake Placid and stay entertained even if you never hit the Olympic slopes on Whiteface Mountain. Shops, restaurants, bars, cafés, and hotels line Main Street, and within a 5-mi drive there’s virtually unlimited winter-sports excitement. The showcase activity is a run down the 1980 Olympic bobsled, luge, and skeleton track, or the track that was installed in 2000 for international competitions. With speeds in excess of 60 mph, a run can rival any roller coaster. Ski the meticulous trails of the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Olympic Cross Country Center; take a spin around the 400-meter Olympic speed-skating oval; or simply stand in the Olympic arena and recall the improbable victory of an overachieving U.S. team against the heavily favored Russians in the 1980 Olympic hockey tournament. Quite simply, Lake Placid offered a great diversity of winter resort possibilities for nearly 20 years— long before other ski areas began adding off-slope and after-hours events and activities. As a result, the Olympic Region consistently scores at or near the top of ski-magazine surveys for total resort experience year in and year out. The town itself is actually on Mirror Lake, separated from Lake Placid by a narrow isthmus. It is quite compact, with action-packed Main Street running the length of Mirror Lake. The majority of the stores, restaurants, bars, and accommodations are strung between the Olympic speed-skating oval at one end of town and the venerable Mirror Lake Inn at the other. The south end of Saranac Avenue (heading west away from the lake) is lined with numerous motels and restaurants, but for most visitors Main Street is the main track. The Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) manages the facilities left over from the Olympics and develops innovative programs to ensure maximum usage. This chapter contains a thorough description of the resort including how to get there, mountain statistics, trail profiles, lodging, dining, nightlife, and entertainment."