New Gaslight proposal has Adirondack design

Several citizens with engineering or contracting experience said that demolishing a solid steel-truss building and then constructing a replacement structure was a waste of money.

The cost estimates for both Blais' pavilion proposal and McCoy's enclosed building proposal - each cited as less than $300,000 - came under fire from detractors as unrealistic.

Wood said Blais' pavilion proposal would limit the building's use in the off-season.

Luisa Sherman also expressed support of a fully-enclosed building, noting that Saratoga Springs and Lake Placid, competitors for trade shows and events, were now investing heavily into convention space.

"We need to put heads into beds, and that's what this proposal will do," she said of McCoy's plans. "We don't need to be left out any longer," she said, referring to other municipalities drawing away potential trade show bookings.

She said that prime-time for conventions was January through May, and that county convention marketer Michael Consuelo had lined up $300,000 in definite convention-related business linked to the facility, and had several million dollars of business in prospective revenue on the horizon.

Town Council member Caryl Clark noted that the state Fire Chiefs convention - which took its event elsewhere this year - had to spend $250,000 just to rent tents in the village for their trade show, and a permanent enclosed building, available at a far lower cost, would doubtlessly retain and attract such events.

Bob Flacke, owner of Fort William Henry Resort and Convention Center which is north of the Gaslight festival grounds and Cavalcade of Cars building, criticized the project. He said that additional trade show space wasn't needed, as existing venues weren't fully booked. He also predicted the proposed facility would be a burden on taxpayers.

Kathy Muncil, CFO of the resort, said municipal efforts should focus on summer business, which was declining in recent years.

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