Funding Will Enhance Recreation Infrastructure and Amenities to Help Communities Capitalize on Increased Tourism
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $750,000 in grants to communities in the central Adirondacks region to capitalize on the economic and recreational opportunities from the recently protected Boreas Ponds tract and surrounding forests. The grants, supported by funding from The Nature Conservancy, will help local businesses and communities enhance access opportunities and services to attract new visitors to the region.
“The Adirondack Park has always been a world class treasure for New York, boasting endless opportunities for outdoor tourism and economic growth,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding will provide these communities with the resources they need to grow their tourism industries and attract more visitors – allowing them to grow and thrive for generations to come.”
The Adirondack Park Upper Hudson Recreation Hub Grants are administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation through the Natural Heritage Trust. The Essex County Industrial Development Agency also provided a microenterprise program to deliver grants supporting local businesses.
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Governor Cuomo is committed to leveraging our land conservation activities with economic development opportunities for Adirondack communities and businesses. Through the Governor’s leadership, and with strong partners like The Nature Conservancy, the NHT, Essex County and local officials, these grants will go far in assisting communities bolster their recreational infrastructure and promote the incredible outdoor recreational opportunities in this amazing area of the Adirondacks.”
The Department of Environmental Conservation has partnered with The Nature Conservancy and National Heritage Trust to deliver competitive grant funding to support new tourism activity linked to the high quality recreational opportunities now available in the heart of New York’s Adirondack Park. The grants include nearly $250,000 for municipal projects implementing economic strategies and developing physical assets to bolster the recreation and tourism economy, restricted to municipalities in the Upper Hudson Rec Hub communities of Indian Lake, Long Lake, Minerva, Newcomb, and North Hudson.
Grants in this category were awarded to:
Essex County, partnering with the Town of North Hudson
Gateway to the Adirondacks – Final Plans & Specifications: Located in the heart of the Adirondacks, the future Gateway to the Adirondacks site, once hosted Frontier Town, a popular theme park that has been unoccupied for years. On a total of nearly 290 acres, the assessments will include ground water, wetlands, ecological, environmental, survey, geotechnical, water and sewer demand for proposed project site. Plans are to support the conceptual plan in place for future site uses that includes camping/cottages, equestrian use area, events area, a visitor's center, commercial uses and a day use area that would provide access to the Schroon River and nearby public lands.
Essex County, partnering with the Town of Minerva
Minerva Lake Dam Reinforcement: Safety inspections have highlighted the need for repairs to maintain the Minerva Lake Dam, to avoid environmental damage, economic loss and to maintain the Town’s recreational assets which are a draw to the region. The Town owns and operates a campground and public beach adjacent to the lake that offers scenic views, comfortable isolated campsites, tennis courts, basketball courts, a concession stand, restroom and shower facilities, two new playgrounds and a public boat launch for non-motorized boats.
$500,000 of the grant funding provided by The Nature Conservancy went to for-profit small businesses and not-for-profit organizations via a separate competitive microenterprise grant program. The microenterprise grant program is administered by the Essex County Industrial Development Agency and will fund business development and training as well as non-profit projects advancing recreation and tourism-related objectives.
Carol Calabrese, Co-Executive Director of Essex County IDA said, “We are so appreciative for the opportunity to work again with DEC & The Natural Heritage Trust, on Round 2 of the Upper Hudson Hub Microenterprises Grant Program. Through this program, by partnering with the North Country SBDC, applicants also were able to go through the Microenterprise Training program, which focused on business plan development, financial analysis and forecasting as well as marketing. These funds will offer the Hub area communities and businesses an important financial foundation to encourage startups and growth and expansion for existing businesses to offer more goods and services for tourists as well as the residents. The economic impact of this program will help businesses become more sustainable and profitable. This program is scaled appropriate, to be able to work in small rural communities.”
Award winners under this category include:
Business Name and Project Description
Trailhead Resort DBA
Trailhead Resort: Equipment to establish new year-round camping accommodations and dining; to be located on Lake Harris, along Route 28N in Newcomb
Adirondack Growl & Grub, LLC
Adirondack Growl & Grub Expansion: Outdoor beer garden and equipment for an expanded menu; located at the intersection of Routes 28N & 30 in Long Lake
BMNT, LLC, dba Coner
The Coner: Equipment upgrades to serve the current fast casual customer; espresso drinks, soft custard, fine ice creams and hot food to go; located at the intersection of Routes 28N & 30 in Long Lake
Cloudsplitter Outfitters LLC
Cloudsplitter Outfitters: Improvements to offerings, including ADA-compliant hut-to-hut yurt lodge, family-friendly excursion equipment, and improved accommodations and refreshments; located at the intersection of Route 28N and the Hudson River
ESF College Foundation
The Masten House Fine Lodging and Retreat Center: Furnishing, marketing, equipment and wayfinding for historic 9-bedroom two-story mansion to serve as a new overnight inn and group retreat; located in the Upper Works Historic District of Newcomb
LaBar Family LLC, dba Morningside Camps and Cottages
Morningside Camps and Cottages: Event venue equipment and improvements to attract more themed events, especially during shoulder seasons; located on A.P. Morse Hwy adjacent to the Town of Minerva beach and campground
Long Lake Hotel Corporation
Adirondack Hotel: New furnishings and food preparation equipment to retain attractiveness of historic 19th century Adirondack Victorian hotel; located in the hamlet of Long Lake
Northway Exit 29 Campground Inc., dba Adirondack Jellystone Park
Yogi-Bear's Adirondack Jellystone Park: New pre-fabricated bunkhouse and equipment to serve excursion groups; located on the Schroon River at Northway Exit 29
Raquette River Outfitters LLC
Raquette River Outfitters: Expanded inventory of lightweight canoes/kayaks, trailers and paddling equipment to promote off-site wilderness trips; based in the hamlet of Long Lake
Scoops Ice Cream DBA
Scoops Ice Cream: New equipment to store inventory and efficiently serve larger customer base; located on Route 28N in Newcomb
Town of Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce
Indian Lake Chamber: New equipment to support festivals, events and production of promotional materials; based in the hamlet of Indian Lake
W. S. Sandiford Enterprises LLC, dba ADK Trading Post
ADK Trading Post: New equipment, expanded inventory and marketing for year-round general store / gift store / deli and cafe; located on Route 30, 2 miles north of Long Lake
Senator Betty Little said, “Each of these grants is very good news for the deserving recipients who I know worked hard to present a vision worthwhile of this kind of investment. I congratulate them all and look forward to seeing the progress to be made with these funds,” said Senator Betty Little. “The continued concern and interest of Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Seggos in the sustainability of Adirondack Park towns, villages and hamlets is appreciated very much. I am pleased to join them in this announcement. This collaboration between State and local government, local businesses, the Essex County IDA, The Nature Conservancy and Natural Heritage Trust is terrific.”
Assemblyman Dan Stec said, "The majestic Adirondack Park is a world-class destination for outdoor enthusiasts and a source of pride for all New Yorkers. Promoting the unmatched beauty of the Adirondack Mountains is truly a wise investment. I thank Governor Cuomo for his support for these strong communities who are the backbone of this national treasure."
The Supervisors of the five towns of the Upper Hudson Recreation Hub and ýChairs of the Essex and Hamilton County Board of Supervisors said, "We thank Governor Cuomo for his continued support for local economic development which builds on the premier recreation opportunities that exist within the Adirondack Park. His leadership in recognizing the importance of local businesses and tourism amenities to accommodate visitors to this region of NYS is unparalleled."
Connie Prickett, Director of Communications and Community Engagement for The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack chapter said, “In partnership with New York State DEC, we worked for nearly a decade to protect 161,000 acres featuring 300 lakes and ponds, 90 mountains and 425 miles of rivers and streams, largely concentrated in North Hudson, Newcomb, Long Lake, Indian Lake and Minerva. And as those lands thrive, we want to make sure the host communities do as well — which is why we’ve also invested a total of $1.25 million to support projects helping towns and businesses capitalize on new opportunities for snowmobiling, hiking, hunting, biking, paddling and fishing. We congratulate the grant recipients and are proud to be working with partners to strengthen connections between protected lands and the people who live, work and visit here.”
The municipal grants announced today were the result of a Request For Applications issued by DEC and Natural Heritage Trust in December, 2016. The microenterprise program was announced by the Essex County IDA in January, 2017 Municipal applications were scored and ranked by a team composed of staff from DEC and TNC. The microenterprise applications were reviewed by staff from DEC, The Nature Conservancy and representatives appointed by Upper Hudson Rec Hub communities.