Recreation

Events and associated evidence about recreation and tourism development can be found here in the Scenario Framework Navigation Tool.

Improving the services (lodging, food, entertainment, adventure, etc.) available to visitors is also an important part of the strategy.  We want to create more opportunities for visitors to happily spend money here and boost our local economies.  Another key part of the strategy is to encourage visitors to go to multiple destinations within the Park.

There are many projects underway and more to come with REDC grants available for upgrading facilities.  A working group creating a Park-wide recreation plan led by Jim McKenna and Neil Woodward has submitted a proposal to the NCREDC via the CFA process to build a Park-wide recreation portal, which was awarded and is now in development.  The same working group will connect to the bigger NYS promotion programs and will be meeting regularly.

  • Get alignment with the proposed recreation plan from government and private groups across the Park; continue to refine and enhance it based on feedback and experience (in process)

The most interesting ideas are to pull together tourism offerings that take advantage of the scale of the Park.  The LP-to-Old Forge connection by trail is a good example.  But trail extensions that allow hamlet-to-hamlet walks could bring a different kind of trek experience to the Park and also provide the opportunity for people to use their cars less and either bike or walk more.

  • Develop new trails that connect backcountry to hamlets and interconnect hamlets
  • Resolve the differences on implementation and build the trail from Old Forge to Lake Placid
  • New travel bundlers offer packages of multi-destination touring in the Park
  • New style guide and outfitter businesses cater to a broader variety of visitors, some with high-end lodging and restaurants
  • Target investments to upgrade quality of lodging consistent with the recreation plan
  • Create a tourism opportunity fund for planning and provisioning of destination lodges and other visitor services – the thinking would be along the lines of industrial parks, but for tourist destination projects.

The initiative to work the above events will come from the private sector, working with DEC.  Other than the rail/trail debate we are not aware of activity on the other events. We would hope the rail/trail parties can figure out a path ahead fairly soon.

We want to diversify our visitor population and reach out to groups that may not have traditionally come to the Adirondacks.  Our strategy calls for developing future visitor offerings within the context of eco, agri and heritage tourism.  This requires new branding and marketing as well as a commitment to making new facilities as “green” as possible.

  • Target visitors interested in eco-, agri- and heritage tourism
  • Target new and diverse visitor groups, e.g., international, non-white, families with small children, people with disabilities, the active retired.
  • Develop seminars to train people working in visitor-facing roles

It isn’t clear to us how the above events get done Park-wide and not piecemeal.  Things like farm and food tourism is already happening in the Champlain Valley and Lake Placid.  Heritage tourism involves organizations like AARCH and the Adirondack Museum which is now going through a major re-thinking of itself.  The eco-tourism angle will likely be private sector developed, with some of it associated with opening the Finch Pryun lands.

Winter recreation is an important part of the tourism industry in this region but it is threatened by gradual shortening of the number of snow cover days due to climate change.

  • Develop a strategy for maintaining sufficient visitor offerings during the winter even when there is less snow.

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