North Creek business group hopes to grow shuttle

— With the inaugural year of the Saratoga & North Creek Railway’s Snow Train in 2012, the shuttle to Gore Mountain took on more significance for the business community. Half of the 1,400 Snow Train passengers coming from Saratoga Springs were skiers, and they needed transportation to Gore. The Snow Train is specifically marketed toward skiers, and without a shuttle, they have no way to get to the mountain.

“We help accommodate people to bring them to the mountain,” said Brant Lake Taxi’s Butler. “We make sure that’s the time the shuttle is down at the train station.”

The shuttle also brings the parents and other family members who are not skiers to the downtown area while their kids ski at Gore.

“That was one of our goals, and as the time goes on and on, people are using the service more,” Butler said.

The winter shuttle runs from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., coinciding with Gore’s lift operations, on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, holiday weeks and holiday Mondays.

While cross-country skiing at the Garnet Hill Lodge in North River plays a part in the winter economy of the region, Gore Mountain is the big draw for North Creek. It’s been a ski resort town since the mid-1930s when the first snow trains arrived on the Delaware & Hudson Railway from New York City. Several slopes were opened, including the Ski Bowl. Gore opened in 1964.

“There’s a synergy that exists between Gore and the business community of North Creek,” Bowers said. “Even to the point we’re going to try this year to make the shuttle run a little bit earlier for a while to see if it works out for the employees at Gore. So they can come downtown, park, and not have to drive up and get to Gore in a timely fashion for work.”

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