In tune with Gore Mountain’s advertising campaign, “More Gore” is definitely on its way to Eastern Skiers and Riders.
"Make No Little Plans...for there is no magic in them to stir people's souls." How appropriate this statement is for Gore Mountain and North Creek, the sleepy Adirondack Village so close, but presently so far, from this New York ski area’s base.
Gore has always lacked a few critical components that make a ski area a destination resort: housing and four season activities. If developer Mac Crikelair has his way, his Ski Bowl Village at Gore Mountain, will be that “critical” development. Dubbed a “four season sporting community”, his many faceted plan for 430 acres of private land located within the Hamlet of North Creek and the Town of Johnsburg, is large in scope, sensitive of the environment, and a component of the needed link to Gore Mountain.
That this vision can happen at all within the strict requirements of the Adirondack Park Agency (ADA) is perhaps the biggest news. If a Gore to North Creek Ski Bowl connection was not in the State’s original master plan, this grand scheme would not be possible. Anyone familiar with the Adirondacks knows how difficult it is to obtain approval for a development project. Many other agencies were also involved with the approval process.
The APA approved Front Street Mountain Development, LLC’s application for Ski Bowl Village in mid-April of this year. The Project has been under review for two years, and is one of the largest projects approved in several decades.
Mac and his family are long time Gore skiers. Mac, a forth generation Adirondacker, started skiing when he was two and he participated in Gore’s race program. With a degree in studio art, Mac states, “I plan on doing this project right, in true Adirondack Style”.
The underlying theme of Ski Bowl Village is that of an Adirondack Great Camp, i.e. major buildings surrounded with smaller structures, all with similar shapes and detailing, using native materials. The Crikelair development includes 5 hotels, 131 townhouses, 18 single family homes, and a handful of complimentary functions including a private membership club, an equestrian facility, artist studio, restaurant, mountain spa, and a 9 hole par 3 golf course. The golf course uses the developed ski trails as a land-conserving feature.
The first phase of the project will be a hotel and town homes.
An all encompassing Integrated Energy and Environmental Management Plan will foster reduced energy consumption and green building practices. Geo-thermal heating systems are being considered.
Though by far the largest, Ski Bowl Village is not the only development in place for this area. Within a mile of the mountain, Top Ridge Town homes are being built by Gore area locals using native lumber, on 22 acres. These beautiful three story units, a blend of traditional Arts and Crafts, Mission, and Adirondack styles, feature wonderful views of Gore and the surrounding area. And in the Town of North Creek, the new Alpine Lodge offers fourteen guest rooms and suites in the heart of a revitalized Main Street.
This is not all. There are exciting things happening on the mountain at Gore for this coming season too. The new Burnt Ridge Mountain Project, Gore’s forth peak, includes a new high-speed quad and ultimately five new trails plus gladed terrain. Located adjacent to Twister Glades, this expansion will increase Gore’s vertical drop to 2,300 feet, the eighth greatest in the East. It is in this area that a trail connection to the Ski Bowl, the Crikelair development and town will be made.
Cross-mountain Lift #14 is planned to link Ski Bowl Village with the base lodge of Gore, a critical component of Gore’s exciting future.
“All good things take time,” says Gore General Manager Mike Pratt, when asked about a date for construction of the new lift, he states, “It took two years after APA permitting to get the snowmaking water line to the Hudson River, which truly allowed Gore to improve its skiing experience”.
Gore has plans to renovate and expand the base lodge too.
A community bus shuttle service is due to start operation in late 2008, linking North Creek with area attractions and housing. A regional ski train is also in the construction stage that will bring back this increasingly popular mode of transportation made so popular in the 1930’s.
It will be interesting to see if the State of New York will keep funding Gore’s improvements, especially the planned cross mountain lift, in light of the State’s current funding crises and the cost of energy world wide.
Gore and North Creek have many advantages due to their proximity to a large population base and ease of access. If skier visits to more remote locations decline, Gore may just have the right mix at the right time to keep skiers and riders coming to the mountains.
Imagine a pedestrian village, a major snowsports resort, with four-season opportunities, and a wonderful living experience, all located within the largest State Park in America.
To me this is a very important point.