Weather Channel broadcasts live from Lake Placid

Lake Placid and Saranac Lake were featured on national television today as the Weather Channel kicked off its Extreme Weather Week programming with a live broadcast from Mount Van Hoevenberg.

“In terms of exposure, the perfect storm has hit the Adirondacks,” read a joint press release issued by USA Luge, Empire State Winter Games, the state Olympic Regional Development Authority and the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee said.

The Weather Channel crew, including “Wake Up With Al” co-host Stephanie Abrams, began its broadcast at 5:30 this morning from the sliding track at the Olympic Sports Complex at Mount Van Hoevenberg, just outside of Lake Placid. The broadcast was scheduled to continue until 11 a.m.

The press release said wintry conditions in the Tri-Lakes, combined with a number of events scheduled for this week, brought the Weather Channel to the area. Saranac Lake’s Winter Carnival is already under way, and Lake Placid will host World Cup luge races Friday and Saturday. Additionally, the Empire State Winter Games kick off on Thursday, and the fourth annual Adirondack Toboggan Championship is slated for 6 p.m. Friday.

Several local officials were scheduled to be live guests this morning, including ORDA spokesman Jon Lundin, USA Luge coach Duncan Kennedy and Winter Carnival Committee Chairman Jeff Dickson.

Andy Flynn of the Winter Carnival Committee said Sandy Caligiore – who does publicity work for several local organizations and events, including USA Luge and the Empire State Winter Games – reached out to carnival organizers and asked them to participate in the Weather Channel broadcast.

“The Weather Channel just doesn’t go anywhere,” Flynn said. “They have to make sure they get the most bang for their buck, as far as I can tell. So it really was a package deal. They get the luge, the toboggan, the Empire State Games, the Carnival – all wrapped in one.”

Flynn said the Winter Carnival Committee made an “extra push for publicity” this year.

“We couldn’t ask for any better exposure for Winter Carnival; being on national television,” he said. “We get the publicity for being the coldest spot in the nation, so to prove our point we’re showing them our marquee event. What better way to say winter than Saranac Lake Winter Carnival?”

Flynn said he hopes being featured on the Weather Channel will bring more people to town this weekend.

“The parade last year was one of the biggest in a long time, and we’re expecting bigger crowds this year,” he said. “I think, with more exposure, we can see those kinds of crowds we saw decades ago.”

This morning’s broadcast was scheduled to include live interviews and recorded segments, according to the press release. One of the segments was an interview with Winter Carnival King Lee Foster at the Ice Palace in Saranac Lake. Other highlights included a “learn to luge” piece featuring 2009 World Champion Erin Hamlin, of Remsen, giving Abrams pointers on the sliding track.

Contact Chris Morris at 891-2600 ext. 25 or