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Visitors center being improved

The Adirondacks have always been a place where the old meets the new. While the mountains and lakes have been there much longer than any of us, they have seen constant change happen among the communities who live and work here. The Lake Champlain Visitors Center is undergoing exciting improvements as we speak - a multi-phase project that is designed to improve the facilities and operating capabilities of the Bureau in Lake Champlain. The facility in which the Lake Champlain Visitors Center (LCVC) resides was originally built in 1929 as the home for the toll keeper of the Crown Point Bridge. In 1993 the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau acquired use of the building, which is actually owned by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation because of its status on the National Register of Historic Places. As a Gateway visitors center, we provide the first friendly Adirondack welcome as visitors cross the bridge from New England, says Suzanne Maye, who manages the LCVC. Most recently, the LCVC secured a substantial grant from the Federal Highway-National Scenic Byway Program, the Erie Canal Greenway Grant Program, and the EPF Historic Preservation Fund with which to renovate the building. The remodeling is planned to be accomplished in two phases. The first, erecting a new slate roof, has been completed. The old slate tiles that had sat on the building for years were unfortunately not reusable, so new Vermont Black slate and copper flashing was used to a considerably more pleasing aesthetic. The roof phase also included updating the insulating properties of the building; make it much greener and cost-effective to operate. Phase 2 is even more exciting. Beginning this spring, the LCVC will upgrade the heating and electrical systems, install an ADA compliant entrance and rest rooms, and improve the energy-efficiency of the exterior and windows. Finally, new interpretive exhibits depicting the adjacent historical regional highlights and Wi Fi internet access is in the works. The mountains still havent changed much, but that doesnt mean we shouldnt always look for ways to improve the experience of our visitors. By updating and creating more efficient facilities at the Lake Champlain Visitors Center we firmly believe that we can maintain our image as the premier visitor destination region in the northeast and as an organization acutely aware of our environmental impact. Sal Cania works with the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau.

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