Dewey Mountain seeks funds for renovations

Dewey Mountain is seeking funds to help renovate and modernize its facilities.

Dewey Mountain is seeking funds to help renovate and modernize its facilities. Alan Belford

— As Dewey Mountain Recreation Center in Saranac Lake is getting ready for another winter of events and activities, officials are continuing to raise money for a planned new ski lodge.

As part of this effort, Dewey Mountain recently hit the ground with Burkebeaner coffee in partnership with Adirondack Bean-to of Saranac Lake. The coffee, inspired by Olympic biathlete Tim Burke, who learned to ski and race at Dewey, is organic and fair trade, and is available for a limited time through the winter. All proceeds from sales will benefit the lodge project.

The Adirondack Bean-to created a similar fundraising coffee last winter for Dewey with Olympic nordic combined champion Billy Demong, and both Burke and Demong are honorary trustees of Dewey Mountain Friends.

This friends group is undertaking much of the fundraising for the new lodge which is expected to cost around $500,000, and for which more fundraisers are planned. For instance, there is an Artist’s Guild fundraiser for Dewey in Saranac Lake on Feb. 3.

The proposed plan for the lodge is to take down the two standing buildings — the original lodge from 1980 and the newer lodge from the 1990s, and build one large building rather than attempt to repair the existing structures.

“Neither is worth the investment of repairs it would cost,” Mary Thill, chair of Dewey Mountain Friends, said.

The goals for the new lodge include energy efficiency, multi-season recreation, and the enhancement of mountain sports in the region. But the driving force may be to allow Dewey to better accommodate their many programs – particularly youth recreation programs as pointed out by Thill. Thill also noted that many other events at Dewey will benefit the ski lodge project. Included in that list are two “ski jams” planned for Jan. 6 and Jan. 20.

See http://www.deweyskicenter.com for more details.

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