NORTH CREEK - After several years of planning and mountains of paperwork, Johnsburg now owns a swath of land that connects the two ski areas in town.
This "Ski Bowl interconnect" site will someday allow people to ski or ride a chairlift between the two slopes.
Johnsburg has been deeded the rights to this 11.5-acre plot of land adjacent to the North Creek Ski Bowl by Frontstreet Development, a firm that is constructing a resort village adjacent to Gore Mountain Ski Center. The transaction, which bore a price tag of $94,000, was recorded March 2 in the Warren County Clerk's office.
With the property in town hands, the 'Little Gore' interconnect is edging ever closer to becoming a reality- filtering Gore Mountain skiers and dollars to the base of the North Creek ski bowl.
"The significance of all of this is that it will literally take thousands of skiers who would have otherwise bypassed our businesses and place them at the very edge of our business district," Johnsburg Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed said Thursday. "This is an example of this community finding a balance between its economic interests, its history and the environment."
Some citizens have questioned the close association between the interconnect project and Frontstreet Development's private endeavors. It has been suggested that the bulk of tourists dollars generated by the project will end up primarily filtering to the strategically placed $200 million Frontstreet resort that will be located mere yards from the base area and feature not only lodging, but also restaurants and attractions.
In 2006, this close association prompted the Adirondack Park Agency to temporarily halt the town initiative so it could assess the potential impact of the Frontstreet project.
However, Goodspeed said this week, that any association is overblown.
"These are two different issues," Goodspeed said. "I don't see how anyone could be against the interconnect, regardless of their feelings of Frontstreet."