New research conducted by Camoin 310 of Saratoga Springs for the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) in Lake Placid and the Economic Development Corporation of Warren County (EDC) shows there is a strong interest for relocation to the Adirondacks across all income brackets in the Regional Market Area. This area includes New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Hampshire, and New Jersey.
About the survey: A total of 6,733 responses were collected and analyzed by Camoin 310 from January 19, 2021 to January 29, 2021. More than 80% of respondents now live in the Northeast, but there were responses from as far away as Florida, California, Texas, Colorado, Missouri, Minnesota, and Oregon, as well as international locations.
Key findings indicate that nearly 25% of respondents said they were either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to relocate here in the next five years. Some indicated they have already moved here. The majority of the respondents said living in the Adirondack communities with access to high-speed internet, health care, and dining and shopping opportunities is a priority.
Nearly 23% of Regional Market Demand is between ages 25 to 45. Quality housing and outdoor recreation were the most important factors cited when selecting a community. Remote workers and retirees present the greatest opportunity and over 40% of respondents who are working have the ability to work remotely either full time or a majority of the time.
“This is positive for the Adirondacks and provides data to support the Northern Forest Center’s report and strategy for ‘Attracting New Residents’ to the Adirondacks. Remote workers are a growing industry in which the Adirondacks are positioned well to pursue,” said James McKenna ROOST’s CEO. “They bring their jobs with them and provide for a new economic base and year-round economy less dependent on the seasonal swings of tourism. We must use this data to drive private investment in new and redeveloped housing stock within the hamlets of the Adirondacks. Planned properly, new residents can sustain our communities, bring our school enrollments back to pre-2000 levels, and provide a better quality of life and services for our current residents.”
Of the respondents who are working, many currently work in professional services, education, health care, finance and insurance sectors, information technology, and skilled trades.
“We have known professional relocation to our area was under way, but this survey validates that the combination of world-class recreation and regional assets make this truly one of the most desired relocation sites in the world,” said Jim Siplon President of EDC. “It is clear we must work with our municipal, business, and professional partners throughout the region to better understand, plan for, and meet this exciting opportunity to enhance our local economies while keenly addressing the attendant demand for housing, broadband, and infrastructure this movement is also highlighting. ”
Full results of the assessment can be found here: Adirondack-Relocation-Assessment-Survey
ROOST is the Destination Marketing & Management Organization for Essex & Hamilton counties and the communities of Saranac Lake & Tupper Lake.
EDC is the economic development engine for Warren County, NY, attracting new investment, industry and jobs to the area, and helping our existing businesses expand and thrive.
The key statement is in the Executive Summary. “Work/employment is the top factor keeping people from moving to the Adirondacks…” Jobs, jobs, jobs, especially for the younger people the region needs to move in. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Census indicates there are retirees moving in while working-age people move out.
I am a retiree who moved away from the Adirondacks in 1982 because of a lack of work. I only come back to visit family who still live there and retired in Asheville, NC. I have everything that the Adirondacks have to offer; great food, tasty beer, and tons of outdoor activities – all close to my house. What I don’t have are super high taxes, hard to find health care, an unreliable internet service, or 5 months of nasty weather. You can’t fix the weather but NYS has to work on the other items, even to attract retirees.
I love that area. Owned land once around Lake Nantahala, but never got around to building. Not much snow in winter, but usable 365 days/year. Beautiful area. Kinda lean on healthcare services – similar to the Park.
With my job, I am able to work remotely. If one of the goals is to attract remote workers to relocate to the Adirondacks, then you must have reliable high speed data. Period. They can’t do their jobs without it. The region already has many of the things that 25-45 year olds find compelling which is why there is so much relocation interest. For a region that has struggled to create jobs in recent decades, this is a windfall opportunity. You don’t have to create new jobs to attract remote workers, they bring their jobs with them. You just have to focus on the data access challenge first.
Broadband access would be a boon to everyone, including existing residents and businesses. Possibly Elon Musk’s Starlink is already an option there. Could be a game changer for many rural/remote regions. https://www.starlink.com/
LOL I could have used this sentence for my ranty comment on today’s other post:
“ Of the respondents who are working, many currently work in professional services, education, health care, finance and insurance sectors, information technology, and skilled trades. ”
Skilled trades at the end of that list, and the term could refer to a wide variety of jobs.
Switching gears: kudos for 2 economic development related posts in one day. These discussions are super necessary, because the problem is a challenging one to solve. I appreciate any take that’s analytical, creative, and lives in reality instead of some *cough* [unflattering adjective here] universe where banning “the ethnics” solves all of these issues.
Fav takeaway: respondents from all over the world! Very few regions anywhere in the country get an international draw.
Least fav takeaway: only 23% interest in the 25-45 age range. If you did the same survey for a big city, probably a much different percentage there. As the poster above notes, it’s all about the jobs, jobs, jobs, and as others have also noted, it’s a chicken-and-egg issue for a region without them.