Built in 1920, the welcoming, porch be-decked Schroon Lake Bed & Breakfast first opened to the public as an inn in 1989 and has since been welcoming guests to the lush mountain setting of the Northeast. This country farmhouse inn, located in the gorgeous Southern Adirondacks of New York, is run by Sharon and Mark Piper. “We are the fourth set of innkeepers to host guests since it opened to the public,” Sharon said.
Located in a town of 1,700 year-round residents, the town of Schroon Lake booms from May to October. “We triple our population with second home owners,” she said. Guests, too, flock to the inn for vacations and weekend getaways where they can enjoy the incredible outdoor opportunities. Whether you are a hiker and love exploring new trails or you enjoy life on the water, Schroon Lake and the surrounding Adirondack Park boast miles of trails, thousands of lakes and waterways and more.
Schroon Lake has become a paradise for travelers hoping to enjoy swimming, sailing, canoeing, fishing, hiking, river rafting and water skiing during the spring and summer months. Fall and winter months are ideal for fall foliage tours, snow skiing thrills and snowmobile and even snowshoeing adventures.
“Our lake is 9 miles long, so it offers an uncrowded way to enjoy water sports. Ice fishing in the winter is also quite popular,” Sharon said.
Those guests wishing to explore the local traditions of the quaint town can shop among the dozens of gift and antique shops or travel to historic sites like Fort Ticonderoga or the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. And don’t forget Lake Placid – the home of the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Games.
“Our location is very desirable for outdoor enthusiasts and travelers seeking an authentic, natural experience,” Sharon said. “Our town is quite eclectic and is one of those places that people feel like they are connecting to a bygone era.”
A: We have owned the B&B since August of 2009
Q: Why did you decided to go into innkeeping?
A: We were looking for an opportunity to move back East to be closer to our family and the inn presented itself. Mark and I had worked in hotels before and we enjoy the hospitality business, so this was a natural fit.
Q: What is your signature breakfast?
A: Our breakfasts are farm to table creations and we change often based on the seasonality and availability of fresh ingredients. One of our most popular offerings is our Crème Brulee French Toast with a raspberry reduction and farm fresh bacon served with fresh fruit.
Q: Where are the majority of your guests from?
A: Most of our guests travel from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, however, we have welcomed people this year from England, Switzerland, Japan and the Netherlands.
A: To me, investing in our website and our virtual tour has had the greatest impact on our guests and how they find us and ultimately decide to stay with us.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
A: Being in such a seasonal location has been challenging with regards to budgeting and cash flow. Learning how to even out the balance sheet over the course of the year has been my biggest challenge.
Q: Biggest lesson learned in the industry?
A: You will not be a good fit for everyone, so focus on your core audience and make their stay an epic experience.
Q: What motto do you live by?
A: Embrace change! Nothing stays the same in the world, so instead of sitting back and having change happen TO you, don’t be afraid to take the initiative and change it YOUSELF. It’s an illusion of control and if it doesn’t work out, then change it again!
Q: What is unique about your inn?
A: We have many “hotel type” amenities but we still offer a personalized B&B experience. We offer a level of privacy that allows our guests the freedom to decide on the amount of interaction they have with us or other guests.
Q: What would you do all over again if you had a time machine?
A: I never would have gotten my hair permed in the ‘80s
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: We are still exploring all that the Adirondack Park has to offer, so when we have time away from the inn, we hike and explore as much as possible. We also like finding out-of-the-way antique shops to get ideas for the inn.
Q: Any little know facts about your inn or your town?
A: Rumor has it that Dutch Schultz (the gangster/bootlegger) once stayed here.
Q: Any fun guest stories you want to share? Unique guests, crazy situations or celebrity visitors?
A: Our craziest guest experience was hosting 10 people on the weekend that Hurricane Irene came through and took a maple tree down in the back yard that hit the house. We were on the generator for three days and we had to be a bed, breakfast and lunch one of the days because the lines were down and the road was closed. We had to do some improvising that day!
Did You Know?
The Town of Schroon Lake was first settled around 1800, north of the current Schroon Lake hamlet. The origination of the name “Schroon” is not precisely known though some believe it is derived from a Native American word for large lake. Others contend it was named by French soldiers in honor of the Widow Scarron (Françoise d’Aubigne) who was previously the wife of noted French author and playwright Paul Scarron. She was subsequently the Madame de Maintenon and second wife of Louis XIV of France.