This month the Saranac Lake Community Store officially incorporated.
When the Ames Department Store in Saranac Lake closed its doors in 2002, Tri-Lakes residents and visitors were left without a convenient, local source for items such as underwear, moderately priced clothing, linens, craft supplies and sundries and were forced to travel an hour away to either Malone or Plattsburgh to fulfill many of their basic shopping needs.
Recognizing the need to fill that void, a group of local residents came together in early 2006 and formed the “Retail Options Committee” to identify retailers who might potentially open a store in Saranac Lake. Although the demographics of the region made Saranac Lake undesirable to the national retailers they approached, in the course of their research, the Committee came across the concept of community-owned department stores that had successfully served their markets in a number of rural communities out West. A public forum was held in the Village of Saranac Lake in June, 2006 and the Committee invited Sharon Earhart, a representative of The Merc, a successful community-owned department store in Powell, WY, to make a presentation. The response that night was overwhelmingly positive and the Committee decided to forge ahead.
During the fall of 2006 a business plan is drafted and reviewed by a group of local advisors comprised of area business owners and leaders. Attorney, Charles Noth, was hired to prepare and file the Incorporation Documents and Stock Offering for the Saranac Lake Community Store, Inc.
These efforts culminated in official incorporation this month.
We have a lot to do before the Community Store becomes a reality here in Saranac Lake, but with the support of a community of like minded people and the leadership of a dedicated core, we can do it.