LAKE GEORGE - Long credited for being the region's largest event of its kind - and one that generates many millions of dollars annually in revenue vital for area businesses - Americade motorcycle rally finally received substantial public appreciation at a reception held June 15 at The Inn at Erlowest.
Dave Kenny, owner of The Inn at Erlowest, with the help of several other Lake George business owners, organized the barbecue appreciation party to thank Americade founder Bill Dutcher and his staff.
The famed rally annually brings in as much as $43 million to area businesses and their employees, as well as up to $2 million yearly to Warren County government in tax revenues. The event has for many years been considered the world's leading tour motorcycle rally.
Recently, spiraling rental fees demanded by the state Department of Environmental Conservation for renting Americade the DEC's vacant Million Dollar Beach parking lot - up to $71,300 for 2010 rather than the prior year's $52,000 -have prompted Dutcher to consider moving Americade to another venue, perhaps in Vermont, which may offer financial incentives rather than punitive charges.
But despite the fees which are due to escalate $15,000 or so next year, Dutcher has sought to keep the rally situated in Lake George as he has an enduring fondness for the region.
At the Americade Appreciation Party, area business owners and community leaders seconded the emotion.
They praised Americade motorcycle rally founder Bill Dutcher, his staff and their volunteers for their nearly three decades of rallies that have introduced hundreds of thousands of people to the attributes of Lake George as well as boosting local commerce and contributing to government coffers.
"Americade is an irreplaceable business," said Mike Hoffman owner of Holiday Inn, noting it brings in revenue during a "shoulder season" that would otherwise be slow.