Tuesday, March 1, 2022

ADK Purchased Cascade Ski Center . . . Now What?

cascade ski center

It’s a rare day that I’m not asked, whether it’s by email, phone, or even after being stopped in the grocery store: what is ADK going to do now that it has purchased Cascade Cross Country Ski Center? Great question. 

Let’s start with what we know: ADK’s intent broadly is to use Cascade Ski Center and its location to improve local recreational offerings, reach more visitors with educational outreach, and support local and state visitor use management goals. Within this framework, we already plan to continue offering groomed cross-country skiing and snowshoeing with rentals and retail in the winter months. In the summer, we will offer information services and restrooms to the general public.

What happens beyond that and the degree to which we align our efforts with certain initiatives will depend largely on your input as community members and stakeholders. There is a great deal of potential for what could be done there, ranging from meeting space for community groups to mountain biking to birding programs. We must also consider what needs to be done to ensure that the property facilitates access for everyone, regardless of background, to our incredible public spaces.

Toward this end, we are hosting a number of sessions in March to get input from a number of stakeholders, including leaders from different organizations, recreationists, our own ADK members, and elected officials. 

As a part of this, we are hosting a public session on April 5th at 6:30pm to hear from the community at large. You can learn more about it and register here.

Furthermore, we welcome everyone to share their input via email at cascade@adk.org. Any feedback that we receive, whether that be in-person or by email, will be considered during this process. As we move forward, a summary of our findings and a final report will be shared on ADK.org/news, the Adirondack Almanack, and our social media channels.

Collecting this information will help ADK develop a master plan for the property so that we can scale operations and offerings in a strategic way to better serve our members, further our mission, and increase ADK’s impact for generations to come. This is an exciting start for ADK’s next 100 years.

Photo of Cascade Ski Center by Mike Lynch/Adirondack Explorer

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Michael Barrett is the Executive Director of the Adirondack Mountain Club.

23 Responses

  1. Nathan says:

    Goodluck with the cross country skiing. Art has been trying to sell that place for a decade as the global warming was killing the skiing and unlike down hill, cannot make enough snow over such a large area. the place was becoming less profitable and skiing sporadic. sales of gear plummeted and was becoming more of a bar and resturant. I do hope they add mountain biking and maybe a bike shop.

    • ADK Camper says:

      The pandemic changed a lot of that. The bar is closed and sales and rentals have been way up.

  2. Diane says:

    Just curious…ADK means a lot of things. Tell me who or what group or club purchased Cascade ski center? Excited for the future of Cascade ski center.
    Thank you, D

  3. Zephyr says:

    It’s a fantastic location for the High Peaks Information Center, complete with a store to purchase maps, guidebooks, and last-minute gear items including bear canisters. They need a big wall map of the Adirondacks that can be photographed with a smartphone for those who absolutely refuse to buy a map. Include powerful, free wifi so people can sit in their cars and complete trip plans, or check out directions for other hikes. Rather garish, but could there be an electronic sign warning hikers when parking is full at the current Adirondak Loj parking lot? Maybe instead of the sign there could be some way to alert hikers via smartphone as they drive by.

    • Rose Anne says:

      You’ve made a lot of good suggestions! I hope the right people are listening.

    • EDP says:

      Real/semi-real time parking status updates for the Heart Lake and Garden lots is a great idea (could be a tasteful, non-electronic board).

    • Joseph Van Gelder says:

      Your plan will never work. It makes too much sense.

    • Bill Ott says:

      I am quite sure that if I encountered a group of about 40 or 50 hikers where ever I might be, most all of them would have and be staring at their smart phones. One of them would probably stop and whisper loudly at a distance (probably because I hadn’t bathed in several days) where they might find cellular service so they could find their way out of the woods. He or she would ask me if I had service on my smartphone. I would say, “What is a smartphone? Don’t you have a compass?” He would answer, “What is a compass?”

  4. Pablo says:

    So far no mention of free skiing. Since the center is now funded with significant public money, shouldn’t its usage be free?

  5. This one-time grant represents less than 10% of their annual income and came with no preconditions. They are planning on spending an equal amount on the ski center and another $2,500,000 on an additional land purchase.

    While they say ski trails will be open to the public, there is no promise that they will be free.

  6. Ben says:

    Just happy that this deal went down and the land did not get sold to be subdivided. It really seems like there are many positive opportunities here to address the high density use issues in the area. Thank you Cascade and ADK for coming to an agreement.

  7. Tony Goodwin says:

    I agree that this purchase has great potential. In some ways it is like moving the Loj’s HPIC out to the main road where more hikers can be informed/educated.

    If ADK continues to groom the ski trails, there is ample precedent for ADK to charge for that service. In Jackson, New Hampshire, the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation, a 501(c)(3), runs an extensive network of groomed ski trails and charges “market” rates for a pass. They also have a rental/ski shop and food service, so the ADK’s non-profit status doesn’t preclude the organization from engaging in “commercial” activities.

    After all, ADK has operated JBL and ADK Loj for many years on a paying basis while still maintaining their non-profit status. The Loj even has a license to serve beer an wine, so maybe even, at least on a limited basis, the bar at Cascade can continue. For many, many years that has been a great winter meeting place for like-minded skiers, so just maybe that can continue as well.

    • Todd Eastman says:

      I’ll tip a big glass of Weißbier to that, Tony!

    • Zephyr says:

      I have no desire to pay to ski on groomed trails but if it helps ADK pay for the facility and there is a market for it I’m happy to see that happen. Nonprofits need to generate revenue somehow to pay for all the good work they do for free, and ADK certainly provides many services to the public.

  8. Sean A Nolan says:

    Haven’t been in there in over a decade, yet becoming a go to info center is fantastic. What about offering a more summer oriented business model along with the info center. Also, do they or will they start being more involved with snowshoes, I’ve been doing the snowshoe thing since the early 90s and it seems more people have been getting into snowshoeing over that period of time.

  9. Raymond Mainer says:

    ADK should put its money into trail improvement rather than a big capital expense. The trails need more work than the ADK needs a ski center. They must have more money than they know what to do with

    • Todd Eastman says:

      The ADK already dedicates a massive amount to trail work.

      The land and responsibility for maintaining the trails is up to the land owner, NYS.

      Education and outreach is a tremendously important function for the ADK…

  10. Denise Jenks says:

    Glad to see this. Having a retail outlet for ADK merchandise and maps, etc. there is a fantastic idea and will definitely be a plus. Someone stationed there to answer backcountry planning questions could be a nice addition (like the HPIC). Bring back the full moon ski nights!

  11. I think it would be a good move to make it an MTB center in the summer months. If natural challenging single-track was created, a pump track and Dual Slalom course added, it would fill a void that the region is missing. And, class-1 E-Bikes do not have many choices in the area to ride, so allowing them would be awesome!

  12. Raymond Mainer says:

    Thank you for clarifying that.