QUEENSBURY Warren County leaders are taking a fresh look at relocating their entire Tourism Department to a site amidst the outlet malls on Rte. 9 off Northway Exit 20 — after experiencing months of success with a new mall-based tourism information kiosk.
Last year, county supervisors talked of establishing a full-service tourist information center on the busy “Million-Dollar Half-Mile” through which hundreds of thousands of motorists pass through every year.
The concept called for moving the entire county tourism department to a free-standing building on the state highway, a heavily-traveled route carrying tourists from downstate and New Jersey to Vermont.
A spacious, newly renovated building just north of the Orvis Factory Outlet on the west side of Rte. 9 had been under consideration. The store was intended 18 months ago to host the Lickits Ice Cream enterprise.
Early this year, county supervisors shelved the idea due to a hefty purchase price of about $1.2 million, and set up a limited information center in the Adirondack Outlet Mall across Rte. 9.
That modest information center, however, has been so successful that the county leaders are now again giving serious consideration to moving the entire tourism staff to the Lickits Ice Cream building.
Lake Luzerne Supervisor and county Tourism Committee Chairman Gene Merlino said recently that the reconsideration was also based on a recent price reduction on the building — to an affordable $700,000.
He said that county employees manning the temporary information center in the mall had passed out many thousands of tourism leaflets, over five months this summer — far more than had been passed out at the department’s present location in the county center over the last five years.
In the Lickits building, the entire tourism staff could counsel visitors about where to go and what to do in the county, he said, boosting prosperity for county residents.