LAKE PLACID – The Adirondack Mountain Club received a $ 500,000 state grant on Tuesday to purchase the Cascade cross-country ski center.
The club applied for the grant through the Northern Regional Economic Development Council in August. Contacted by Enterprise Tuesday, ADK executive director Michael Barrett had yet to hear news that ADK had been selected for the grant.
“Obviously, we are delighted” he said. “I take your word for it.”
There is a matching element in the grant, and Barrett said the club will also contribute $ 500,000 towards the purchase of the ski resort at the close. The club agreed to buy the 200-acre property on Cascade Road in Lake Placid for approximately $ 2.5 million. Barrett said the club have yet to close on the property, but that they have a provisional closure date of December 29.
Barrett said the club applied for the grant because they wanted to provide public access to ski slopes on the property, which he said will be a benefit to state taxpayers. The club’s candidacy was submitted with a resolution of support from the town of North Elba. The city council voted in favor of the project on August 10.
“The Adirondack Mountain Club is incredibly happy to partner with Governor Hochul for this incredible opportunity for the Adirondack, its visitors and its communities.” Barrett said. âWith the support of this grant, ADK will be able to expand educational and informational resources to help hikers have a safe and responsible wilderness experience, and to ensure that the public has access to this incredible property for skiing and d other human-powered recreation. opportunities for generations to come.
The club intends to open the centre’s cross-country ski trails to the public during the winter, and would offer hiking and nature trails as well as an information center for hikers.
Barrett said the location of the center – on Cascade Road, State Route 73 – would give the club the ability to interact with hikers in a space more visible to passers-by and ensure they receive all the information they need. they need to have a “Safe and responsible” experience in the high peaks. He said these interactions would also allow the club to expand the impact of hikers on resources by directing hikers to less traveled areas. Barrett said ADK was also motivated to buy the ski center as they want to expand their education efforts.
Barrett said earlier this year that the club had been looking for a new location for an education center for some time. ADK was considering buying the Masten House in Newcomb, but it was bought by a private buyer last year. At one point, the club management considered building an education center near Adirondak Loj. But the idea of ââminimizing the impact on the natural environment was an important factor as the club considered the best way to move forward.
Currently, many of the club’s indoor classes are held in three yurts not far from Adirondak Loj. Capacity is limited; the yurts can comfortably accommodate about 15 people, more if there are many people. The club offers all kinds of lessons on everything from using compasses and maps, to the principles of Leave No Trace, to environmental education for schoolchildren. The large hall at the ski resort could accommodate up to 80 people, Barrett said in August.
Another factor in the club’s decision to turn to Cascade is the housing for its employees. Much like almost every other business and nonprofit in the Tri-Lakes region, the lack of affordable housing in this region has limited the club’s ability to recruit new staff.