"A plan to slap on a new exterior and then spend $50,000 on the inside will turn out to be a disaster -- a shabby building that appeals to perhaps a few groups, but turns away the masses," he said, citing a "final nightmare" of the town reneging on its agreement to pay all costs, and dumping the facility costs on the county taxpayers.
In the end, that's what convinced Supervisors to line up against it. Privately, supervisors who had switched their votes during several weeks said Friday that after the Town of Lake George submitted a bill for $23,000 for maintenance of the building, they were against renovation. These supervisors noted they had been assured by Tessier that the Cavalcade project would never cost the county a dime, and they were now dubious about allowing Lake George to pursue rehabilitation.
Before the vote, Developer Dave Kenny, owner of Inn at Erlowest, two big lakeside motels and the Adirondack Outlet Mall, said the Supervisors should retain the building for events, conventions and festivals rather than convert the asset into a grassy parking lot. He said that the true annual cost of the building would be $126,000 per year -- presumably shouldered by Lake George taxpayers. he suggested that the county Dept. of Tourism could relocate there, or portions of it could be utilized as an environmental education facility.
"The county supervisors have a fiduciary responsibility to explore other options rather than demolition," he said. In the past, he has suggested he has pledges of $750,000 of cash from area business leaders to invest in the property.
Luisa Craige-Sherman, leader of the Lake George Chamber of Commerce, had presented a lengthy argument in support of keeping Cavalcade. She produced a list of 54 businesses in Lake George support rehabilitation of the structure, in contrast to four that were opposed. She noted that a conference and events center would boost the shoulder season, and attract a variety of new events to the village.