APA helps Indian Lake with grocery study

Agency looks to help other Adirondack communities

— By having this study, it saves economic developers time by drafting a short list of grocery chains more likely to locate in a small community such as Indian Lake.

In the study, Kelleher looked at the eight grocers operating in the Adirondack Park to find which ones are more likely to locate in Indian lake. Those chains are Price Chopper (Lake Placid), Hannaford (Lake Placid), ALDI (Saranac Lake) Save-A-Lot (Tupper Lake), Mac’s Market (Warrensburg, Keeseville and Port Henry), Big M (Speculator and Eagle Lake), IGA (Tupper Lake, Star Lake and Old Forge), and Grand Union (10 locations).

“We found that most of those are located in bigger communities, but there are precedents for both Big M and IGA in communities about the size of Indian Lake,” Kelleher said.

Now the economic developers in Indian Lake have a document they can use, according to Ann Melious, Hamilton County director of economic development and tourism.

“I think it helps us get off the dime and figure out what we’re going to do because there’s some interesting data there and it is motivating us to look at hometown options, not wishing for Price Chopper to some day, some how show up and plant a store in Indian Lake,” Melious said. “We have to look at reality, and I think we have some options.”

Even though Indian Lake officials have already been turned down by IGA and Big M, there is still hope. What the APA study did for members of the Indian Lake Community Development Corporation was give them a reality check.

“It just kind of cemented the fact that we cannot sustain a full-scale grocery store such as a Grand Union or a Price Chopper,” Valentine said. “We don’t have the population here.

Indian Lake’s population is 585 people within a 5-mile radius, 1,352 people in a 10-mile radius, and 11,585 people in a 25-mile radius, according to the study. Seasonal fluctuations, such as summer residents, help boost those numbers but may not be enough to sustain a grocery operation in Indian Lake year round.

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