Member Story: Adirondack Hotel (Long Lake) Owner Jen Jurczak
Reviving Historic Hospitality
In Jen Jurczak’s career, she’s been an EMT, handled administrative and training duties for an ambulance company, owned a cleaning business, and been a fry cook and waitress. Now, she has one more title for her resume: Hotel owner.
In March, she and her boyfriend, Ken Kovalewski, bought the iconic Adirondack Hotel in Long Lake. First opened in the 1850s, it’s the last remaining hotel in the Adirondacks dating to that era still in operation.
When you own a 170-year-old building, you learn to expect surprises. But buying the hotel? As smooth as a stagecoach ride over a freshly graded road, thanks to the Adirondack Regional Federal Credit Union.
Jurczak, who was living and working in western New York before closing on the property, knew she needed a partner that could help her stay on top of paperwork and guide her through the purchase process despite being hundreds of miles away. Her lawyer suggested she give the credit union a call.
She’s glad she did.
“They were so responsive, so courteous and so helpful, to try to make everything work,” she says. “They stayed right on top of everything. For as huge of a process as it is was, they made it not so hard.”
That’s consistent with her interactions at other credit unions in the past, where customer service defines the experience. Commercial banks, on the other hand, tend to be less personal—“you’re a number,” Jurczak says.
Good hospitality is one of the reasons why she bought the hotel in the first place. Before she was an owner, she was a guest: Jurczak met her boyfriend-slash-business partner at the hotel’s bar in 2020, while they were both in town for Long Lake’s Winter Carnival. It was her first visit, but he had been coming up for 40 years. They soon felt at home there.
And they saw the important role the hotel played in the community. In Long Lake, a town of 800, the hotel is one of the largest employers. As many as 40 people work there during the summer (and she credits her staff for helping the transition go so smoothly). It’s one of the only businesses, if not the only business, that’s open all year long, serving lunch and dinner seven days a week; the hotel also takes guests year-round, too.
Adirondack Regional FCU understands that small businesses are vital. We’re a locally owned business, too—our members are owners, and our owners live, work, worship, or attend school in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, and select towns in St. Lawrence counties. So when we support a member with a loan, we’re also supporting our own communities. (Besides loans to purchase real estate, we can also provide loans for business owners to purchase vehicles and equipment, and lines of credit to cover payroll or other expenses.)
Jurczak can feel that local touch. “This is their home,” she says. “They want to see things survive and be successful, and just be there to help.”
As a newly minted Long Lake resident, having just finished moving herself in mid-May, Jurczak was looking to get out of boxes and become part of the community. She’s already found her neighbors warm and welcoming. One of her first items on her to-do list: heading to Adirondack Regional FCU.
“I’m going to head over there and open up a personal bank account,” she says.