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ADK hears more information on the future of Cascade Ski Resort | News, Sports, Jobs


LAKE PLACID — The Adirondack Mountain Club hosted its second virtual public feedback session on the future of the Cascade Ski Resort this week as the club considers how best to use the facility.

The Adirondack Mountain Club, or ADK, completed its purchase of the Jubin family’s Cascade Ski Resort in January. ADK’s Board of Directors approved a deal to purchase Cascade Ski Resort last October; they agreed to purchase the 200-acre property on Cascade Road for approximately $2.5 million. The club received a state grant of $500,000 last December to help defray costs.

Club staff held two public feedback sessions to hear what people in the community think should be done with the facility. About 25 people, including ADK staff, attended Tuesday’s final public feedback session.

During the first session, ADK Executive Director Michael Barrett discussed some of ADK’s plans for the ski center – such as adding an equipment library to make outdoor gear free and accessible, expanding the club’s educational programs and maintaining the center’s ski rental and retail services – and he highlighted those plans again, along with new ideas, on Tuesday night.

Thread the needle

The Great Hall at the Cascade Ski Center popped up several times during public feedback sessions. In the past, the large room in the center offered food and hot drinks to skiers and snowshoers hoping to warm up after a long hike, and many people in the feedback sessions said they wanted this service continue.

Barrett said during both sessions that ADK wanted to continue serving food and drink in the Great Hall to some degree, “it’s just a matter of how.” He said that ADK was working on “thread the needle” continuing to provide the sustenance everyone loves while expanding the capacity of club classrooms for educational programs.

Barrett said the large hall has a capacity of around 85 people and the club hopes to use it as a classroom – and possibly a meeting room for local organizations – when not in use by fans. Recreation. Barrett said ADK was considering hiring third-party staff to run the restaurant, although he said ADK did not want to be in a position to “overpromising and underdelivering.”

Barrett said there was a room next to the Great Hall that was large enough to accommodate a few desks, a restroom, and potentially a smaller classroom in addition to the larger classroom planned for the Great Hall.

Green efforts

Tammara Van Ryn, manager of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program at the Nature Conservancy, told Barrett that APIPP wants to partner with ADK to control invasive species in and around Cascade. She said there was a small Phragmites infestation in the wetlands there and that APPIP could restore the wetlands so that the species would not spread.

She said ADK could use Cascade to educate visitors about invasive species. She suggested distributing information about invasive species and installing wash stations for bikers who could carry Phragmites seeds on their wheels, adding that APIPP could help provide these materials. Barrett said ADK personnel would be a “bunch of fools” say no to the offer.

Carolyn Peterson, one of the co-founders of the Keene Clean Energy team, asked if ADK would consider installing solar collectors or electric vehicle charging stations to complement the club’s environmental education efforts. Barrett said the club had talked about installing charging stations on the center pitch and solar panels on the roof.

Suitable for families and beginners

Another popular topic at this week’s forum was keeping Cascade friendly for families and beginner skiers. Barrett said ADK reached out to schools and other local clubs, like the Lake Placid Outing Club, to discuss opportunities for children at the center.

Diane Beckwith, a volunteer host at Heart Lake Campground, suggested creating color-matched ski loops that indicate skill level to help people overcome the fear of hitting a hard trail.

She encouraged ADK to make the trails accessible to youth groups for the remaining three seasons. She said ADK could give these groups and other first-timers some backcountry experience in the frontcountry; beginners can walk a mile into camp but still find support at Cascade.

Longtime ADK member Denise Erenstone said Cascade could fill the niche of a family ski resort where kids can get a lesson right across the street from the building. She noted that she felt that facilities like Mount Van Hoevenberg had become “foreign” residents following renovations to the pavilion by the Olympic Regional Development Authority. She said there used to be flat ground for beginners directly behind the lodge, but she said that’s gone now.

Barrett said ADK wanted to break down the barriers and mysticism around cross-country skiing and other outdoor pursuits, and he said Cascade was a “excellent dress” for family people.

Parking problems

Barrett said there was a problem with people illegally parking at the end of Adirondack Loj Road, a five-mile road off State Highway 73. People sometimes drive all the way down the road unknowingly that there is no more open parking there, and Barrett thinks people are frustrated and park there anyway. He hopes Cascade, which is nearby on Route 73, could serve as a stopping place for people heading to Lake Placid to help alleviate some of the parking problems on Adirondack Loj Road.

Peterson noted that Cascade had its own parking issues – she said it was “appalling” to pull out of fast-paced traffic on Highway 73 towards Lake Placid.

She added that linking Cascade to local bus routes would make the center a key stopping point. Barrett said Keene Town Supervisor Joe Pete Wilson has already contacted ADK about the hiker shuttle, and he said they plan to talk about possibly adding the center to the route. of the shuttle.

Other ideas

Barrett mentioned the possibility of giving ADK members free passes to the ski resort. Lake Placid resident Karen Armstrong suggested that ADK also offer a discount to families in North Elba, and Barrett said ADK has reached out to local authorities to support residents.

Barrett discussed the lower level of the ski center, which has 32 bunk beds spread over several rooms, during the first public session. He thought the berths could be used to house seasonal interns for local organizations or backpackers looking for a place to sleep. Van Ryn suggested that ADK use the berths for the longer-term housing needs of local seasonal staff instead of housing guests on an ongoing basis.

Peterson asked if ADK had any plans to rehire any of the former Cascade Ski Center employees. Barrett said former staff members were welcome to continue working there, but added they could consider other options. He thought they had another management opportunity ahead of them this summer.

Former Cascade Ski Technician Nate Atkinson mentioned the importance of stocking the right skis at the Cascade Ski Shop; other local stores tend to sell backcountry gear or ski racing gear, which he says isn’t appropriate for 90 percent of the park’s cross-country trails. Barrett said he would be interested in Atkinson’s help with the ski gear ordering process; he said the ADK staff were not yet ski equipment experts, but were ready to learn and improve.

Christine Barnes, part of the Hurricane Mountain ADK chapter, suggested providing some form of entertainment or art at the center to make it more appealing to large groups of people with varying interests.

Other ideas from community members that surfaced in both feedback sessions included completing an inventory of trails in Cascade, enabling skijoring in Cascade, and making the center a hub for expert hikers and resources for visitors.

Summaries

The club also hosted two private feedback sessions with specific stakeholder groups, including local governments, people who run similar facilities at Cascade Ski Resort, educators, residents of local school districts, adjacent landowners and area non-profit organizations, such as Paul Smith’s College. VIC, according to ADK Deputy Executive Director Julia Goren.

The club plans to summarize the four feedback sessions in a public document, although the summary is not yet available. The summary should be available at www.adk.org/news, according to the club’s website.



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