SARANAC LAKE - The village has launched a new French language Facebook page that's designed to draw French-speaking visitors from Quebec and Ontario.
Titled "Saranac Lake Capitale des Adirondacks, USA" the page is administered by former Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Director Sylvie Nelson, who was born and raised in Quebec and now runs her own consulting service, called Adirondack Executive Services, which includes a specialty in French translations.
"Our closest and most untapped tourist market is the 4 million Francophones living within 180 miles of Saranac Lake, so it only makes sense to use the most popular social medium to go after it," village Mayor Clyde Rabideau said in a press release.
Current posts on the Facebook page are focused on winter activities available in Saranac Lake such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tubing and promoting the upcoming Saranac Lake Winter Carnival.
"Winter Carnival is our best calling card and if we can get some Quebecers here for part of those 10 glorious and fun-filled days, I know they will come back, so now's the time to get the message out to them 'en Francais,'" Rabideau said.
The village board agreed last month to hire Nelson in return for providing her with a family ski pass to the village-run Mount Pisgah Ski Center. The board also voted recently to replace the village's signs with bilingual signage as the current signs are worn or damaged.
"Signs and Facebook pages are all small steps towards making Saranac Lake, the Capital of the Adirondacks, more of a tourist destination, and we have more steps to go as our journey requires many strides," Rabideau said.
The new Saranac Lake French-language Facebook page is www.facebook.com/SaranacLakeCapitaleDesAdirondacks.