Weathering the storm well

The national economic downturn has had some positive consequences here in the lower Adirondacks.

Gasoline prices are remarkably lower than a year ago, and this has reduced expenses dramatically for most all of us who depend on automobile transportation to get to work, shop for necessities or meet other needs.

The downturn is also generally making housing far more affordable. Plus, our locally-based banks, who shied away from reckless lending practices of institutions elsewhere, are still making loans so families can attain their dreams of home ownership.

Also, our area's tourism traffic has remained quite strong, as families from nearby metropolitan areas have chosen to scrap their more expensive vacations around the nation, and are looking for a closer destination like Lake George and North Creek.

The most recent occupancy tax revenue figures support the optimism of local tourism officials over this new resurgence in visitors.

This income for visitors helps offset local property taxes, and keep our government functioning well - while other municipalities around the nation are facing financial crises.

North Creek's outstanding tourism traffic this winter is a prime example of this "new wave" of visitors discovering the amenities of the lower Adirondacks.

Johnsburg Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed has said repeatedly he has never seen North Creek so busy, with visitors lining up outside restaurants and taverns, and so many more customers shopping in stores.

Goodspeed and state officials have credited the boom to downstate New Yorkers deciding to visit nearby and affordable Gore Mountain rather than competing Vermont ski resorts.

In light of this tourism trend, it makes sense for businesses who seek to increase their market share, to invest - while the national economy slumps - in upgrades, expansions and advertising.

It's no secret that those businesses that invest while others are retreating, are the enterprises that gain market dominance.

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