Growing the Business

Stefanie: "He just kept building, and I just made sure he was able to keep going."

Jenn: When I think of everything my parents accomplished, and how brave and also crazy they were, I think of this quote by Mark Twain: "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones that you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the harbor. Catch the winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Between 1985 and 1987, the Golden Arrow more than doubled in size. Wini designed and built the south wing of the resort, including parking garages A and B. New rooms included suites and specialty rooms with the first real fireplaces in any Lake Placid hotel. While Wini was building, Stefanie was working to allow him to continue; battling law suits from other local hoteliers, making sure he had the funding he needed, and literally distracting guests in the lobby as they waited to check in while he finished painting and installing the furniture into the rooms they were checking into!

Golden Arrow lobby circa 1988

Next came the enormous task of raising the lobby. Since the lobby was only two stories high, and Wini had built four story buildings on either side of it, the structure needed to be raised. During renovations, the middle wing also had an additional floor added onto it.

Raising the lobby roof.

Wini: "In 1985, I raised the lobby. I found an outfit in Potsdam, NY, who could help me. They came with a lot of lumber for the cribbing and eight jacks. We started jacking up the lobby roof little by little and put the cribbing underneath it. Sometimes it was very scary because the cribbings were not that big. As we raised the roof, we built the walls up. Everybody thought it was crazy, including me. I was nervous that a big gust of wind would blow the roof over, so I strapped it down with steel cables. It looked like a bird with big wings up there. I prayed for no wind."

Did you know:

Before the introduction of computers, guests would mail in paper reservation requests or simply call to make reservations. The reservation record was written on a large revolving white board that had the room numbers along the vertical plane and every day of the year along the horizontal plane. Names were color coded based on whether a deposit was paid or not. Front Desk clerks had to make sure not to spill drinks near the whiteboard and risk losing reservations!