A New York State Comptroller's report states that an estimated 74,000 skiers will spend an estimated $7.4 million in the communities surrounding Gore Mountain when the interconnect is operational. However, these current figures are significantly lower than originally projected by the comptroller's office in the project's infancy in 2005.
Due in large part to a $6 million dollar economic development grant secured by State Senator Betty Little (R-Queensbury), a refurbished triple-chair lift has been purchased and preparations for its installation are underway.
Johnsburg is currently seeking funding from the Olympic Regional Development Authority for operational costs, including staffing and snow-making equipment.
The Indian Lake, Warrensburg and Chestertown Town Boards unanimously passed resolutions this week, urging ORDA to fund the initiative. Several other communities will vote on similar resolutions of support in the coming days.
"We have to stick together, especially when dealing with regional issues like Gore Mountain," said Indian Lake Supervisor Barry Hutchins.
According to Goodspeed, the interconnect will have adequate elevation to allow access to several Gore Mountain trail systems including Hudson Trail and the Hudson Bypass Trail networks, but will also lead many skiers to the base of the ski bowl.
"It is a perfect example of the town and the mountain working together for a common purpose," he said.
A shuttle-bus system is a likely addition to the venture and contributions from local businesses may be required for its funding.
Over the last year, no-less than 15 business have either opened their doors or expanded. Goodspeed interprets this fact as an indication that the future is bright for Johnsburg.
"This four-season tourism model is the future of the Adirondack Park," he said. "When people come here they see an authentic ski community-the interconnect will only enhance that."
He argues that the interconnect will create jobs and strengthen the economic foundation of the community.
"This is a tremendous economic opportunity, " Goodspeed said. "This will allow people who left to come back."