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Ambassadors point train tourists to downtown Saranac Lake

Gail Brill reports to the Saranac Lake Village Board Monday, July 9 about her experiences as an Adirondack Ambassador, welcoming train tourists at the Union Depot arriving from Lake Placid.

Gail Brill reports to the Saranac Lake Village Board Monday, July 9 about her experiences as an Adirondack Ambassador, welcoming train tourists at the Union Depot arriving from Lake Placid. Photo by Andy Flynn.

— Tourists taking the Adirondack Scenic Railroad from Lake Placid will most likely run into an Adirondack Ambassador when they get off the train at the Union Depot in Saranac Lake.

Volunteer ambassadors such as Gail Brill have been welcoming visitors at the station on Depot Street to help orient them and point them toward the downtown business district. This program provides a needed service, according to Brill, who reported to the Saranac Lake Village Board during their Monday, July 9 meeting.

“The people get off the train, and they don’t really know where they are, and I’m so happy to meet them and welcome them,” Brill said. “The first thing I say is, ‘Welcome to Saranac Lake. What would you like to do today?’ And I have a basket of information with a map.”

Brill walks people out to the front of the depot and shows them Depot Street.

“And that’s where I show them on the map how to get to downtown. It’s only a 6-minute walk,” Brill said. “The first day I was there was the Fourth of July. There must have been 30 people around me, listening to me talk about Saranac Lake and where to go and what to do, where to eat and how to get there. People loved it.”

When people get off the train, it’s hard to tell that downtown is so close, she said. Meeting the train around 11:45 a.m., ambassadors have the opportunity to tell people they can spend the day in Saranac Lake and catch the later train back to Lake Placid, which leaves at 3:30 p.m.

Brill had some ideas to make the program better. For example, the ambassadors could hold a sign that says, “Ask me about Saranac Lake.”

Mayor Clyde Rabideau said he and Brill should compare notes since he was also an Adirondack Ambassador at the train station.

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