Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Upgrades at Gore and Whiteface Mountains Planned

Whiteface Mountain with little snow 2016 Mike Lynch PhotoGovernor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that the state will invest up to $20 million for upgrades at Whiteface and Gore Mountains.

The investment is expected to leverage up to $80 million in private funding to add additional amenities and retail options for guests, according to the Governor’s office. The $20 million for the upgrades at Whiteface and Gore is in addition to $10 million the state is providing to the Olympic Regional Development Authority as part of the 2017-18 FY budget.

 

Improvements to the Whiteface Mountain Ski facility are expected to include:

Expanding the Bear Den Lodge and adding a state-of-the-art learning center, bar and restaurant;
Expanding and renovating the Adirondack Base Lodge and parking lot;
Installing a line connecting the Bear Den Learning Center area to the Mid Station;
Building one of the longest zip lines in North America; and
Building the longest mountain coaster in the United States.

Improvements to the Gore Mountain facility are expected to include:

Expanding seating capacity and modernizing the Saddle Lodge’s facilities and infrastructure;
Adding a third story to the Base Lodge – building corporate meeting room space, additional seating and customer amenities, and expanding the rental shop in the Northwoods Lodge; and
Restoring the original 1967 gondola unloading station into a Gore summit warming facility and overlook.

Tourism is an economic driver for New York State, and especially important in the Adirondacks. According to the Governor’s office, in 2015 the tourism industry generated a total economic impact of $102 billion – an all-time high for the state. Winter tourism at Whiteface and Gore Mountains accounts for more than $100 million in economic impact each year in the North Country, according to the governor’s office.

Photo: Whiteface Mountain 2016, courtesy Mike Lynch.


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7 Responses

  1. Lakechamplain says:

    gOverall I applaud most of these improvements Gov. Cuomo proposed to the state-run ski centers. And I don’t want to be overtly critical, and I admit that my feelings are mixed, but does anyone else have a problem with the proposals for the zip line and the coaster at Whiteface?

    I’ve always thought that the developments on Whiteface over the years, from the highway and weather center and then Whiteface ski center have set just the right tone.
    Part of the high peaks region but on the periphery and ‘limited’ to this huge peak(and its sister Esther). The rest of the highest peaks were protected by such development but the ski center and highway in particular are a huge boost to the economies of Lake Placid, Wilmington, and the area itself without sacrificing the key quality of Undeveloped remoteness the the rest of the peaks, and for that matter, most of the Adirondack Mts. still enjoy.

    I live across the Lake Champlain from Vermont and travel there a lot; among other activities in this great state I’ve hiked several peaks and skied many of the ski centers. Have many of you been to the top of the states highest peak, Mt. Mansfield? Majestic views of the Champlain Valley to the west and the White Mts. to the east on clear days. But also on the mountain top are a slew of antennas and towers that greatly detract from the top-of-the-peak enjoyment. Likewise, many of the others mountains on the spine of the Green Mts. have similar development, most associated with ski areas or housing and/or commercial developments. Camel’s Hump seems almost alone as a mountain left the way most of the Adirondacks are.

    My point is that the proposals for the zip line and coaster are not an imminent sign of turning Whiteface into a Mansfield-type environment but might just signal an approach that puts development(commercialism) and making money as a more important goal than the way it is now. Perhaps this is an anachronistic attitude but I thought I’d comment on it.

    • terry says:

      The zip line would be at Whiteface. I would think that to access it you would take the gondola that already runs all summer for tourism. From RT.86 you would not be able to see someone on a zip line.

      Since the mountain already has stuff on the top it would be nice to see a few windmills up there to power the surrounding towns.

      The mountain coaster would be at Mt Van Hoevenberg which is also already developed, so outside of the coaster little would be needed in infrastructure as far as parking and access to the top of the mountain.

  2. Bill Quinlivan William Quinlivan says:

    Why no specifics listed for Gore?

  3. Boreas says:

    What is a ‘mountain coaster’? Something like an alpine slide (fixed track with a wheeled sled)?

  4. Dick Carlson says:

    The last I knew – zip lines are not included in intensive use, hence Gore’s trying to develop a Summer Ops at Ski Bowl Park. Refurbishing the old gondola building at Gore is nice but you need to ride three lifts to get there and there is no utility in the Summer/Fall. It’s well away from the East side Gondola and chair lift from the base area.

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