The first property the Holderieds bought in Lake Placid was a small motel called The Wildwood on the Lake in 1964. At that time, Lake Placid was primarily a summer destination. Route 87 did not exist yet (it was constructed in the mid-70s,) so Lake Placid was difficult to get to on small roads in the winter months.
Stefanie lived in Lake Placid at the Wildwood from May until October, running the motel by herself and raising the three children. Winfried commuted back and forth every other weekend from his job in New York City to Lake Placid (it was a seven hour ride each way.) They had only one car at the time.
It was not easy for the children either. As they got older, they had to start the school year in Lake Placid, transfer to school in New York City from October to May, and then go back to school in Lake Placid in the Spring. They spent most of their summer vacations helping their mother run the motel and playing in the pool. This went on for five years until they purchased the Holiday Motel in 1970.