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Entries Tagged as 'economic development'

North Country Open for Business

December 8th, 2011 · No Comments · News

North Country Economic Development Council Plan Awarded $103.2 Million

North Country Open for Business
It should be noted, Warren and Herkimer Counties were not included as they were included in other “regions”. Official details and PDF of project awards after the jump.

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North Country Regional Economic Development Council Adopts Vision Statement

September 13th, 2011 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Council also approves its Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) Endorsement Standard and its Public Participation Plan

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council met today and conducted its third meeting, which was open to the public. The meeting at SUNY Potsdam was attended by Lt. Governor Robert Duffy and led by North Country Regional Economic Development Council co-chairs Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, and Anthony Collins, President of Clarkson University.

During today’s session, the Council presented and adopted its vision statement, which is intended to guide the council’s long-term strategic planning process moving forward. The vision statement can be found on the North Country Regional Economic Development Council’s website at and is as follows:

“The North Country will lead the Economic Renaissance of New York State’s Small Cities and Rural Communities by:

  • Energizing our micropolitan cities, building on growth in the aerospace, transit equipment, defense, biotech, and manufacturing industries
  • Attracting and nurturing entrepreneurial pioneers to cultivate innovative clusters in our rural communities
  • Mobilizing the creativity, capacity and graduates of our outstanding and collaborative places of higher education
  • Catalyzing the highest per capita rate of small business start-ups in the state
  • Elevating global recognition of the region as one of the special places on the planet to visit, live, work and study
  • Activating tourism as a pathway to diversify our economies
  • Propagating an agricultural revolution as we help feed the region and the world
  • Creating the greenest energy economy in the state

Actualizing this vision will create family-sustaining jobs and build an inventive economy, capitalizing on our abundant natural capital – pristine waters, productive forests and agricultural lands; the rare splendor of the Adirondacks; and our dynamic international border.”

“The vision statement drafted for the North Country Region is bold, comprehensive and inclusive,” said Anthony Collins, Co-Chair of the Regional Council and Clarkson University President. “Taking action on the statement is a strong indication that the region can rapidly reach consensus views to drive our strategies, which bodes well for the future of the Council and the region.”

“The vision statement we are putting forward truly captures the great diversity of assets and opportunities of our unique region,” said Garry Douglas, Co-Chair of the Regional Council and President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. “It also represents an important piece of the multi-faceted economic development plan for the North Country, which is starting to come together through our working groups. With the work of all of our volunteers and the upcoming input we will be welcoming through our public forums and other means, I expect us to see an exciting strategy come together over the next several weeks.”

In addition, the council detailed and approved its public participation plan, which includes: public comment period during regular scheduled council meetings; a series of public forums; the use of the council’s website,, to provide information to the public about the council, its members, meetings, its strategic plan, as well as surveys to seek public input; and the use of social media, among others. A Facebook page has been created, “North Country Open for Business”, to amplify the council’s message, to engage regional community stakeholders and encourage public participation in the development of strategies and initiatives to promote growth and economic development in the North Country.

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council will be holding three public forums around the region that get underway today. They are as follows: Monday, September 12, Plattsburgh; Wednesday, September 14, Tupper Lake; and Monday, September 19, Watertown. The Council’s goal is to integrate the public into the strategic planning process to design an economic development plan that reflects the local communities’ vision for job creation and economic opportunity. The Council encourages public participation and feedback through outreach, community meetings, forums, and online at

The Council also adopted its Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) Endorsement Standard, which will serve as a guideline for the review and ranking of future applications. By developing these endorsement standards early in the regional council’s strategic planning process, applicants can take them into account when preparing applications.

The next regular scheduled North Country Regional Economic Development Council will be Friday, September 30 at SUNY Potsdam.

The North Country Regional Council, which is comprised of a diverse group of 30 area leaders from the private and public sectors, labor, chambers of commerce, higher education, and community-based organizations, is working to create a five year strategic plan for economic development in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

Created by Governor Cuomo, the Regional Economic Development Councils represent a fundamental shift in the state’s approach to economic development—from a top-down development model to a community-based approach that emphasizes regions’ unique assets, harnesses local expertise, and empowers each region to set plans and priorities.

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council is one of ten regional councils across New York that will serve as a single point of contact for economic activity in the region. Through their strategic planning process, the Councils will identify and expedite priority projects that demonstrate the greatest potential for job growth. As part of the initiative, up to $1 billion in state resources will be accessible to eligible economic development projects through existing program grants and tax credits.

Each Regional Council will develop a plan for the development of their region, which will provide a regional vision for economic development, address critical issues and opportunities, and lay out an implementation roadmap for future growth. The state will work with the Regional Councils to align state resources and policies, eliminate unnecessary barriers to growth and prosperity, and streamline the delivery of government services and programs to help the Regional Councils carry out their plans for development.

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State Court Rules Lows Lake is Wilderness

August 17th, 2011 · No Comments · Adirondack News

ALBANY, NY – A state court ruled this week that the bed and waters of Lows Lake in the heart of the Adirondacks are Wilderness.

Supreme Court Justice Michael C. Lynch of Albany County, in a lawsuit brought by the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) and Protect the Adirondacks! (PROTECT), ruled Monday (Aug. 15) that the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) erred when it approved a resolution in November 2009 that left the popular canoe route unclassified. Justice Lynch also noted that Lows Lake was included in a 1987 Wilderness classification of about 9,100 acres, a classification that was signed by then-Gov. Mario Cuomo.

“Justice Lynch not only confirmed that Lows Lake is Wilderness, he confirmed that it has been legally defined as Wilderness for nearly a quarter century,” ADK Executive Director Neil Woodworth said. “He also upheld the principle that the APA has a legal obligation to classify water bodies that are part of the Adirondack Forest Preserve. That part of the decision has important implications for the future management of the waters of the Forest Preserve under the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan.”

“This decision underscores the fact that the lakes and water bodies of the Adirondacks need protection as much as the land and forests do,” PROTECT Director Dale Jeffers said. “In fact, the need to protect Adirondack waters was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the Forest Preserve in 1885.”

The Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (pdf), which is part of state Executive Law, requires APA to classify all lands and waters in the Adirondack Forest Preserve according to “their characteristics and ability to withstand use.” In the past, the agency has left some water bodies unclassified. In September 2009, the APA voted 6-4 to classify a portion of Lows Lake as Wilderness and a portion as Primitive. Both classifications prohibit motorized public uses. But then-Gov. David Paterson’s representatives on the APA board changed their position and supported a November 2009 resolution that left the lake unclassified.

Opponents of the Wilderness classification argued that the APA did not have the authority to classify the lake as Wilderness because New York State does not own the entire shoreline of Lows Lake. But Justice Lynch found that “the APA Act and the APSLMP require the APA to classify State owned bodies of water even if the water is contiguous to a private land holding.” The decision affirmed that state-owned lakes and other water bodies in the Adirondack Park are part of the constitutionally protected Forest Preserve and must be managed in accordance with the APSLMP.

Justice Lynch also annulled the November 2009 APA resolution and affirmed the 1987 Wilderness classification. The attorney for ADK and PROTECT, John Caffry of Caffry & Flower in Glens Falls, noted that the court reaffirmed a 1977 court ruling that the APSLMP has the force of law. The court then found that APA’s failure to follow the APSLMP was “arbitrary and capricious.”

Following an earlier lawsuit brought by PROTECT and ADK, the APA approved a resolution in April 2009 banning floatplanes from Lows Lake after the end of 2011. Even with the Lows Lake decision, only about 5 percent of the lake and pond surface area in the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park is classified as Wilderness. Public use of motorized vehicles and vessels is prohibited in Wilderness areas.

Protect the Adirondacks!Protect the Adirondacks! is a nonprofit, grassroots membership organization dedicated to the protection and stewardship of the public and private lands of the Adirondack Park. PROTECT is a consolidation of the Residents’ Committee to Protect the Adirondacks and the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks.

Adirondack Mountain Club LogoThe Adirondack Mountain Club, founded in 1922, is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to protecting the New York Forest Preserve and other wild lands and waters through conservation and advocacy, environmental education and responsible recreation.

Read: Justice Lynch’s decision (pdf)

Read: the ADK/PROTECT petition (pdf)

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Essex County DMO presents First Annual Destination Awards

June 21st, 2011 · No Comments · Adirondack News

LAKE PLACID, NY – Three organizations took home the first-ever Destination Awards on Tuesday as the Board of Directors of the Lake Placid CVB/Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (LPCVB/ROOST) announced the recipients at a ceremony at the Conference Center at Lake Placid.

Justin Smith, Board of Directors Chair, Lake Placid CVB/Regional Office of Sustainable TourismThe awards were presented by Justin Smith, Chair of the LPCVB/ROOST board of directors. “As the Destination Marketing Organization for Essex County, we are pleased to showcase the people and organizations who have made the greatest contributions toward achieving a sustainable tourism economy for our region,” he said during the event. “I’m honored to celebrate the efforts of our industry’s best.”

Three awards were presented, all for efforts undertaken during the period January 2010 through May 2011.

New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA)The first presentation was the 2010 Destination Product Award, which is given to the group or individual who has, through capital investment or public coordination, moved forward with a project that positively affects the tourism-related infrastructure in Essex County. The award was presented to the New York State New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) for securing the funding, facilitating the design and building the Conference Center at Lake Placid.

“This was an easy winner to select,” said Smith during the presentation. “Perhaps the most significant arrow that we have in our quiver is our own State Authority. Through their efforts, we’re starting off in the black: the facility is paid for with funds set aside through ORDA by Empire State Development and by Governor Pataki before he left office, so the community will have the newest, most state-of-the-art facility, with absolutely no debt load.”

Matt Stanley, Manager, Santa's Workshop; Kathryn Reiss, owner, High Falls Gorge represent the Adirondack Attractions groupThe 2010 Tourism Marketing Award was given to a group that distinguished itself for developing a cooperative marketing program, beginning with a website and printed collateral, to promote the collection of unique attractions throughout the region. The award was presented to the Adirondack Attractions group, which includes Ausable Chasm, Santa’s Workshop, Whiteface Mountain, High Falls Gorge, The Wild Center, Natural Stone Bridge and Caves.

“In the 50‘s, 60‘s and 70‘s, before there was an Adirondack Regional Tourism Council, it was the Adirondack Attractions who were responsible for cooperatively marketing the Adirondacks.”, said Smith. “The Adirondack Attractions group has banded together to recreate this model, and to develop a cooperative regional campaign that plays on their collective strengths.”

Kevin and George Leveille, of Lake Placid LacrosseThe evening wrapped up with the Tourism Advocate Award, which is given to a group or individual who is directly responsible for bringing a large group or event to the area resulting in a significant economic impact to the county. The 2010 award recipient was Lake Placid Lacrosse, accepted by founder George Leveille. Lake Placid Lacrosse began in 1990 with 7 teams and 14 games, and has grown into a weeklong annual event that hosts over 180 teams.

“George and his group have facilitated infrastructure expansion to 13 fields, and underscore the value of events to the region,” said Smith. “Lake Placid Lacrosse is a tremendous example of outstanding vision and hard work, ensuring Lake Placid’s place as a premiere destination for the fastest growing sport in the U.S.”

The Ceremony began with an overview of 2010 highlights in tourism promotion by James McKenna, President of the LPCVB/ROOST. He reported the findings of the 2010 Leisure Travel Information Study, and the many projects undertaken by the LPCVB/ROOST staff during 2010, including the launch of four new websites, including, the integration of social media and the development of a coalition to ensure the future of the Empire State Winter Games.

The 2010 Destination Award nominees were submitted by the staff and board of directors of the LPCVB/ROOST, and the winners were selected by the board chair. Nominees for the 2011 Destination Awards will be solicited from Essex County’s marketing partners in advance of next year’s event, and voted upon by the LPCVB/ROOST Board of Directors.

Lake Placid CVB/Regional Office of Sustainable TourismFor more information about the Lake Placid CVB/Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, including links to their annual reports and the Leisure Travel Information Study results for the past eight years, visit their corporate website at

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Lake Placid CVB/ROOST – 2010 Leisure Travel Study

June 14th, 2011 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Lake Placid, NYLAKE PLACID, NY – Leisure travel visitors to Lake Placid and Essex County are environmentally conscious, attracted to the area’s outdoor activities and spent $65 for every dollar spent on marketing in 2010, according to the latest leisure travel information study.

For the eighth year in a row, the Technical Assistance Center (TAC), based at SUNY Plattsburgh, was contracted by the Lake Placid CVB/Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (LPCVB/ROOST) to conduct an independent, third party Leisure Travel Information Study.

According to the report, the average household income of 2010 respondents was $80,000. The average age was 52 years, slightly higher than in 2009, with a 5-year average of 49.9 years.

Respondents live primarily in the Northeast, with an increased number over 2009 residing within New York State. Hotels and motels are the most common type of lodging respondents used during their stay. Outdoor activities remain the strongest reported attraction to the area, followed by relaxing, dining and shopping.

The Lake Placid CVB / Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism is the accredited destination marketing organization responsible for promoting the Schroon Lake, Lake Champlain, Whiteface, Saranac Lake and Lake Placid regions to the traveling public.

The Leisure Travel Information Study is based on a survey of the LPCVB/ROOST’s 2010 trackable leads database. New leads are added on a constant basis; walk-in visitors, phone and mail inquiries, bingo cards from magazine advertising, and web signups provide a snapshot of the respondents to the 2010 overall marketing efforts. This year, social networking participants were included for the first time, establishing a basis for comparison in this growing communications medium in future years.

Although alone receives millions of unique visitors, the survey takes only these trackable leads into consideration. In order to calculate the economic impact of the ROOST’s marketing efforts exclusively, the results do not include any standard economic multipliers, such as the impact from group visitation, staff expenditures, sales tax or events.

In addition to valuable demographic data and trends, the study’s intent is to determine the effectiveness of the LPCVB/ROOST’s marketing programs, to measure the return on investment (ROI) ratio for public marketing expenditures and the conversion rate factor, or the number of those leads who actually visited the region.

The report found that the percent of visitors who stated that the information or advertisements viewed influenced their decision to visit the region was 83 percent, which is near the five-year average of 82 percent. And, for every occupancy tax dollar LPCVB/ROOST spent on marketing, visitors to Essex County spent $65.

The major reduction in regional cooperative spending and the elimination of state matching funds in 2010 clearly impacted ROOST’s ability to target as broad a reach of potential travelers as in past years.

“Fewer leads in 2010 is a direct result of the unfunded I Love New York Matching Funds program last year, which limited the number of leads generated from our Adirondack regional program,” said James McKenna, LPCVB/ROOST CEO. “This really highlights the value of pooling resources for cooperative regional marketing, which has resumed at a greater level in our 2011 strategy.”

The 2010 survey also garnered visitor profile data that was not collected in previous years. 80 percent of respondents reported that ecological or environmental sensitivity of the travel destination is either “important” or “extremely important”.

And this year marked the first time that social media (Facebook and Twitter) participants were surveyed. Initial results from this market represented a slightly lower age demographic, a higher interest in the hiking and paddling outdoor activities, and higher interest in the sub-regions of the county; substantially higher in the Lake Champlain region. The social media results are based on a small, but increasing percentage of the overall visitor database, and will serve as a valuable basis for comparison in future years.

The 2010 report, additional LPCVB/ROOST research and more is available for download at the online resource developed specifically for local tourism-related businesses. All are encouraged to review essential news, events, marketing opportunities and travel trends that impact the local tourism economy at

Download: 2010 Leisure Travel Study (PDF)

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Land Use and Conservation Law: The Adirondack History

June 3rd, 2011 · No Comments · Miscellania

Man, nature, property, and the social contract.

Follow up with this: Property Rights and Public Lands Management

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A Theoretical Destination Marketing Plan

May 18th, 2011 · No Comments · Destination Marketing

The Adirondacks - Our Great National PlaygroundSome recent discussion regarding Adirondack Tourism Marketing hits on a topic near my heart. I don’t think anyone would argue about tourism’s importance as a crucial part of our economy. But how to effectively market our destination seems to have generated a variety of comments. Some useful, others very uninformed. I once had the joy of thinking about this very topic, and wrote-up a plan for consideration. So rather than join the fray with my own comments, I thought I’d share my ideas. Not official, implemented, or endorsed by anyone other than me.

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