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Entries from June 22nd, 2011

Unique Hikers’ Lodge Gets Fresh New Look

June 22nd, 2011 · 1 Comment · Adirondack News

Adirondack Mountain Club LogoKEENE VALLEY, N.Y. – The Johns Brook Lodge (JBL), a hikers’ oasis in the heart of the Adirondack High Peaks, is opening for its regular season on June 24 with a fresh look and enhanced services.

JBL, which was built by the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) in 1925, is 3.5 miles from the nearest road and provides access to some of the best hiking in the Northeast. This spring, ADK volunteers, under the leadership of expert craftsmen Rich Preis, gave the lodge’s two main bunk rooms a major facelift.

“Both bunk rooms were insulated and paneled with knotty pine tongue-and-groove paneling,” said Nathan Stokes, who chairs ADK’s JBL committee. “Transom windows were installed that provide much-needed light without adding to the energy footprint of this backcountry facility. The upgrades transformed the bunk rooms into light and airy spaces even on a dreary, rainy day.”

Johns Brook Lodge great roomThe improvements were made in the fourth year of a five-year project to rejuvenate the lodge and improve the visitor experience. Over the past few years, the JBL great room has been insulated and paneled, the kitchen has been renovated, windows have been replaced, the family bunk rooms have been upgraded, and the staff cabin has been expanded.

Service at JBL is also getting an upgrade thanks to a new volunteer host program. On weekends this summer, trained volunteer hosts will greet and direct arriving guests, explain services, operate the JBL store, and provide hikers with information about ADK and the surrounding backcountry. Volunteers will take meals with guests to continue their interactions and will assist staff in a variety of ways.

Johns Brook Lodge Family RoomWith two, four-bunk family rooms and two larger bunk rooms, JBL can accommodate up to 28 guests. During the summer, accommodations include hearty meals prepared by ADK staff. JBL is also open during the spring and fall, but guests must pack in their own food during the “caretaker” seasons.

Johns Brook LodgeJBL is located in an inholding in the eastern High Peak Wilderness Area, along the Phelps Trail. The lodge is 5.6 miles from the summit of Mount Marcy, New York’s highest peak, and is also in close proximity to other high peaks (peaks over 4,000 feet), including Gothics, Armstrong Mountain, Big Slide Mountain and Upper and Lower Wolf Jaw. Most JBL guests hike in from the Garden parking lot in Keene Valley.

ADK also operates the Adirondak Loj and a wilderness campground at the end of Adirondack Loj Road, about 8 miles south of Lake Placid. For reservations at ADK’s lodges or campground, call (518) 523-3441 daily between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.

The Adirondack Mountain Club, founded in 1922, is the oldest and largest organization dedicated to the protection of New York’s Forest Preserve. ADK is a nonprofit membership organization that helps protect the Forest Preserve, state parks and other wild lands and waters through conservation and advocacy, environmental education and responsible recreation.

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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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Wild Center Celebrates Buzzzfest

June 20th, 2011 · No Comments · Adirondack News

The Wild Center Kicks Off the Fourth on the Second

TUPPER LAKE, NY – An all day festival of fun to kick off the Fourth of July weekend in the Adirondacks on Saturday, July 2nd from 10am until 6pm. BuzzzFest honors the creatures that make the world go round, from dragonflies to honey bees and all the buzzing, chirping and crawling things in between. And because it’s the Fourth, one of the top Beatles bands in the country will be on hand to play four sets, from A Hard Days Night to Abbey Road and every musical stop in between. Enjoy honey chicken barbecue and festive Fourth of July food prepared by the Center’s new Executive Chef, Phil Smith and plenty of great meal offerings from area culinary enterprises. Even tempt your taste buds with a variety of bug-a-licous delicacies from nationally renowned insect chef, David George Gordon. Collect bugs and try to stump our insect experts, compete in insect races and learn from butterfly walks and bee keeping demos – even get a free buzz cut on your way in or out!

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