Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Lake Placid and North Elba Destination Management Plan Developed

The Town of North Elba, the Village of Lake Placid and the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) have collaborated to develop a destination management plan. This plan will guide efforts of local government, tourism organizations, environmental agencies, economic development initiatives, community organizations, residents and other organizations within the area. Its purpose is to establish regional priorities and guide efforts to balance community, resident and business needs, while enhancing the visitor experience.

Local leaders will be meeting this week to begin discussions regarding implementation of the plan. “This plan offers a guide,” says Derek Doty, Town of North Elba supervisor. “It ensures that North Elba, Lake Placid, and organizations within the area understand and support an overall, long-term plan for the region. The destination management plan helps each entity make its plans in a very deliberate manner based on the agreed upon vision.”

The Lake Placid and North Elba Destination Management Plan has been finalized after 18 months of study led by NextFactor, an industry-leading consulting firm specializing in travel and tourism and the important role of proactive, well-planned destination management.

Research began in 2019 with a destination assessment survey of elected officials, community leaders and industry stakeholders. Results identified the region’s strengths, identified opportunities for improvement, and uncovered specific challenges from the perspective of those living and working within the Lake Placid region. The results of this research provided the basis for the next phase of study; determining which specific challenges needed to be addressed. NextFactor began this phase of the project by analyzing a broad spectrum of research from state and local government, regional universities, local environmental agencies, tourism-based organizations, economic development agencies and other community organizations.

Led by a steering committee comprising business leaders, local residents, tourism officials and economic development professionals, specific information about these challenges was further refined through additional community engagement and conversation, including one-on-one interviews, focus groups, town halls, workshops and meetings with community leaders.

The resulting plan includes six primary objectives on which the region will focus including: optimization of the local economy; addressing the challenge of resident housing in North Elba; working to ensure environmental sustainability; developing an event management strategy; ensuring that tourism industry investment benefits residents and more engagement of local residents in decision-making processes.

Mary Jane Lawrence, chief operating officer at ROOST, explained that destination management and regional planning is something that ROOST is uniquely positioned to support. “One important aspect of ROOST responsibilities is to work with our local partners to develop and support initiatives to sustain a healthy community; economically, socially, and environmentally,” she said. “Destination management and planning serves that function within communities and regions.”

Destination management identifies and solidifies a community’s vision, as determined by those within that community. The Lake Placid & North Elba Destination Management Plan is a strategic road map for the next 5-10 years that will balance the needs of local residents, community organizations, and area businesses. A destination management plan focuses on improving the important relationships supporting any destination including the community, local organizations, tourism partners, visitors and the natural environment.

The Lake Placid and North Elba Destination Management Plan can be viewed here.

The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism is the destination marketing and management organization for Hamilton and Essex counties, along with the communities of Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake, all located within the Adirondacks in New York state.

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

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