Resort gave rooms to veterans at no charge

LAKE PLACID – The High Peaks Resort didn’t charge the veterans, active-duty soldiers and their families who attended a retreat here this past weekend, part of an annual initiative the hotel sponsors for nonprofit organizations.

The Enterprise reported Monday that the retreat’s participants paid between $75 to $125 per night, per family, based on rank, with some families receiving full waivers, and implied that those were the rates the resort was charging. Several participants told the newspaper that the low cost of the retreat was one of the reasons they signed up for it.

However, Lori Fitzgerald, the resort’s marketing director, said Wednesday that those were the rates charged by the retreat’s two organizers, Creative Healing Connections and Homeward Bound Adirondacks, to offset their costs.

“We charged nothing,” she said. “We gave our rooms away. That’s our contribution back to the community.”

Fitzgerald said the resort started a Spring for Hope initiative last year. Nonprofit organizations can apply to receive up to two free nights in all of the hotel’s 133 rooms, as well as free conference space and any audio-visual equipment they need. The hotel will split catering costs with the organization, she said.

The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York and WCNY public television in Rochester were last year’s beneficiaries of the Spring for Hope initiative. This year, the hotel selected Homeward Bound and Creative Healing Connections, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Northeastern New York Chapter and Trudeau Institute of Saranac Lake, Fitzgerald said.

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