Whiteface Mountain ski area in Wilmington.
© ORDA/Dave Schmidt
continued Likewise, the ORDA-operated Gore Mountain ski center is a tourism priority and a job creator for the Adirondacks. And business owners want to make sure it stays that way.
Business community concerns
When business leaders in North Creek heard that ORDA was taking over Belleayre, they realized the authority’s operating funds would now have to include one more facility. And they were concerned.
“We don’t want anything to affect Gore’s ability to continue moving forward,” said Mike Bowers, co-chair of the North Creek Business Alliance.
With the addition of Belleayre, North Creek business leaders were also concerned about the equity of representation on the ORDA Board, even though they have full confidence in Robert Flacke and rain praises on his efforts to represent Gore and Warren County.
“I’d like to see some more representation there because I’d like to see someone come in there while Bob is still active so that we can continue to follow suit with what we’ve been doing,” Bowers said. “I still want quality. I don’t want to have somebody appointed that has no idea what we’re actually doing here.”
What they’re doing in North Creek is offering state-of-the-art skiing in a challenging environment, in terms of the economy and the weather.
The addition of more than 100 snow guns in 2011 proved that investment in Gore’s facilities makes a big difference in the local economy. With less-than-average snowfall this past winter, Gore relied heavily on its snowmaking capabilites, and while much of the North Country did not have snow, Gore had excellent coverage on its trails for most of the 2011-12 ski season.
While many ski centers in the East saw up to a 30 percent drop in business, Gore was only 15 percent off its average season.
“This year we were fortunate to have installed 160 new tower guns before opening the ‘11-12 winter season, and if there’s one year that could have been better timed, I can’t imagine what it is,” Gore Marketing Manager Emily Stanton said on March 22, the last ski day of the season. “So I know we were able to overcome a lot of challenges with that snowmaking improvement.”