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Schroon studies tourism

SCHROON LAKE - The Schroon Lake Tourism Council is making progress.

The group, which formed nearly two years ago, recently met to review steps in its master plan and to discuss future activities.

"The tourism council discussed our community's sustainability by looking at the question 'What is the necessary relationship between our community's population size, permanent and transient, and the ability to have sustainable services in the community?'," said Roger Friedman, a council member. "For tourism to succeed in Schroon Lake we need to recognize our comparative advantages and how to maximize local resource utilization."

The master plan is the result of 18 months of meetings and discussions. It was completed with the assistance of a consultant from Egret Communications. The project was part of a Smart Growth grant awarded to Essex County.

The blueprint contains specific actions, including the formation of a tourism council to operate under the auspices of the Schroon Lake Chamber of Commerce. The members of the council are Friedman, Bob Mehm, Georgia Burkhardt, John Huston, Julie Sawyers, Roger Peace, Sharon Piper and Shawn Baker.

Each member of the tourism council has volunteered to work with a small subcommittee on individual actions items.

Tourism council accomplishments to date include an improved internet presence and the addition of new activities in the community, Friedman said.

The Schroon Lake Chamber of Commerce has been working with ROOST (formerly Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau) in developing a new, improved website for the chamber.

During the summer of 2010 new activities and opportunities included bike rentals on the Main Street; pontoon boat cruises on Schroon Lake through a partnership between the chamber and Word of Life; Shakespeare plays in the park with the troupe, which plans to return to Schroon Lake for next summer; and open mic concerts in the Boathouse during the summer that have continued in the off-season at Witherbee's Restaurant on Wednesday evenings.

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