Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Sagamore Ice Bar: ‘Exclusive’ now by design

By Cathy DeDe, Chronicle Managing Editor

The Sagamore’s Glacier Ice Bar — which launched the region’s winter-season craze — is back for the ninth year. It’ll run on two separate weekends: Fridays and Saturdays, Jan. 21-22 and Jan. 28-29, at the Bolton Landing resort.

This year’s event is “exclusive” by design Sagamore General Manager Tom Guay tells The Chronicle.

Last year, because of Covid, the Sagamore limited attendance to guests staying overnight and only opened 200 of its rooms, “a far cry from the 400 we have,” Mr. Guay said.

He said that even with guests required to wear masks, socially distance and not dance, “It was a much better event.”

“It was more exclusive to the people who did come,” said Mr. Guay, and the Sagamore opted to retain that feel.

They plan to hold reservations to 225 rooms, a little more than half-capacity. Given the expected demand, winter discounts won’t apply on Ice Bar weekends.

To attend, most guests will have to purchase a room — for a minimum two nights — at about $700 a night.

Some day passes are also available for $25. The price includes parking.

“Rooms are still available both weekends, but we do anticipate selling out,” Mr. Guay said.

Day passes are still available too. “We’re not at the point of limiting it yet,” he said. “There are plenty for both weekends.” He does suggest, don’t wait to buy.

Some history, from this writer’s perspective: When the Sagamore’s Glacier Ice Bar launched, it was decidedly upscale. Patrons dressed to impress, winter-style, in fur or faux fur and fancy boots, suavely braving the cold.

Then, to be frank, success generated a party vibe, crowds crammed throughout the resort. It was tough even to get to the ice bar, or enjoy the spectacle.

“We want it to be an exclusive, nice event that our guests are going to enjoy,” Mr. Guay said. “We don’t want the huge numbers anymore. I still think there’s a value there, for guests to really have an elevated experience.”

He said this year, the music and dancing are back, with DJ Andy Pratt at the helm.

The Ice Bar returns to the main terrace overlooking Lake George and Dome Island. In prior, busier years it had moved to the Shelving Rock Terrace, less visible beneath a tent and behind the full crowd.

Again this year, the Ice Bar will be carved from about 18,000 pounds of ice.

There will also be interactive ice carvings, themed food and cocktails, a free s’mores bar, and options for outdoor dining in heated igloos.

Dining reservations are highly recommended, especially in the igloos.

Info and reservations:, or call 644-9400.

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