BOLTON LANDING - An estimated 5.5 million television viewers got an eyeful of Lake George and the Adirondack leisure lifestyle Monday morning as NBC's Today Show was broadcast live for two and a half hours from the Sagamore Hotel & Resort.
In this first-ever event for the region, Today Show hosts Meredith Vieira and Ann Curry showcased the Lake George area as one of the nation's top destinations, kicking off a series of shows titled "Today Takes a Vacation."
An estimated 700 or more people, mostly local, cheered on the two celebrities as they cast a line off the Sagamore's dock, roasted marshmallows over an open fire on the hotel's lawn, tasted brunch offerings cooked up poolside, took a quick paddleboat ride, or merely sat on a pier and kicked their bare feet in the lakewater.
The various Adirondack-themed activities were staged in segments during the 150-minute broadcast, which was punctuated by enthusiastic cheers aired by the crowd on the hotel terraces and in a swarm of boats that gathered on the lake in front of the resort
Vieira and Curry said the turnout of area residents was one of the very largest ever for an on-location episode of the Today Show.
"I can't believe the turnout," Curry said.
"And they're friendly and sober," Vieira retorted.
Curry offered a serious thought.
"And there's a real sense of Americana here - an attitude of graciousness that reflects America."
The two today show hosts presented Lake George as an ideal place to vacation, with a variety of family-oriented activities, plus the opportunity to just relax - particularly important, they said, in today's stressed times - and take pleasure in activities and enjoying good company.
"People all over America just need to calm down, take a vacation like this and relax," Curry said.