What does “Adirondacks” mean to to potential tourists? Not much.

So let me start this discussion with a bit of a backhanded compliment to our neighbors in Vermont.

When I drive through many of their gorgeous valleys and quaint communities, I see many of the same problems that we have here in the North Country.

There are eyesore junkyards, old trailers, dilapidated homes, sagging barns.  But here’s the thing:  I don’t notice it as much.

Vermont has marketed and “branded” itself so effectively, that I’m conditioned to focus on the cool stuff:  the fall color or the maple buckets on the trees or the white picket fences and old stone store fronts.

As I report this morning, the Adirondacks has never quite managed this feat.  Unlike other national-caliber tourist destinations, we haven’t packaged ourselves very effectively.

Even though Lake Placid is a globally known village, the rest of the Park doesn’t register in people’s imaginations.

Before I moved to the North Country, I thought “Adirondack” was a kind of chair.

By contrast, Vermont is a brand and a lifestyle option almost as much as a real place.  So is Hawaii.  So is New Orleans.

Visitors are enticed to go there not by a laundry list of possible things to do, but by an overall impression, a concept.

It’s the same reason that a lot of people choose the Gap over other clothing stores.  They’re not just buying blue jeans or a tee-shirt.  They’re buying into a pre-packaged narrative about the experience.

In a way, it’s kind of cool that the Adirondacks has avoided this kind of Madison Avenue messaging.  This may be one of the few A-list places in America that people really can discover for themselves.

But unfortunately, a lot of potential visitors don’t even know enough about us to begin that journey.  They don’t know that there’s something here worth exploring.

So it’s kind of a Catch-22.  We’re authentic in part because we’re undefined.  But because we’re undefined, we’re also undiscovered.

Which means that a lot of our tourism businesses struggle, especially in the interminable “off” seasons.

Is it possible to market the Adirondacks differently, so that this place becomes as concrete a brand as, say, the Colorado Rockies or Maine?   If so, what would that brand look like?

Or should we stick with the grassroots, muddled, down-home approach?  As always, your comments welcome.


59 Comments on “What does “Adirondacks” mean to to potential tourists? Not much.”

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  1. Bret4207 says:

    “The Gap”??? Really? I think comparing a whole state to a kiddie store shows how far down our expectations have fallen.

    Over all I agree with NY’s inability to market anything other than NYC. But Vt is a much, much smaller area with the money making areas concentrated along a narrow band. That does make things easier. Plus there’s no competition between NYC, the Catskills, the Lake George region, the Adks, the Niagara Falls area, the finger lakes, etc. Lots easier to market a small area with one or two themes than a huge area with multiple themes.

    My hat is off to Vt, I just wish it was the Vt of 40 years ago.

  2. Jim Bullard says:

    I have relatives in VT who aren’t particularly happy with what VT has become, an expensive playground for the well healed that natives can no longer afford. Parts of the Adirondacks are already headed that way. This could be a case of “be careful what you wish for”.

  3. Bunnypep says:

    IMO the Adirondacks are devoid of any brand and it is sorely needed. Out of state friends and relatives know about the chairs and hiking and that’s about it, but mention the White Mountains, Cape Cod, the Greens, and it brings forth all sorts of great things to do and see. I believe we live in a time when the “grassroots, muddled, down home approach” just does not work. The Adirondacks need some sound byte type words to Google and bring forth some excitement for what’s available here.

  4. Maura says:

    I agree with Brian that there seems to be a lack of understanding as to what the Adirondack experience might be for first time visitors, which is keeping them away. Tourism brings in money. Period. Third World countries have turned around due to visitors dollars, perhaps we might do the same for the North Country of New York.

    The local people are suffering – economically and socially – their children are leaving in droves.

    Branding the Adirondacks is a great idea. While the thought of promoting tourism is unattractive to many, including myself (I envision knee socked camera carrying candy bar wrapper dropping loud yahoos interrupting our skinny dip at our favorite swimming hole), perhaps it would create opportunity to keep these local communities alive.

    I grew up summers in a lake community in Hamilton County, now own our own home there, and have seen the decline of the community first hand. It is very disturbing. I am also a NYC resident who can attest to the fact that most people here don’t even know where the Adirondacks are! “Is that in VT?” they ask…let’s brand people, let’s brand.

  5. Will Doolittle says:

    The Adirondacks doesn’t have the quaint, quirky but friendly folk, picturesque trees (Vermont) and ocean (Maine) and tasty local specialities — maple syrup and lobsters — thing that those two states have. Thankfully. The “pretty and good” image/message makes some of us gag. The Adirondacks has more and better wilderness than Vermont and even Maine — bigger and more beautiful lakes and mountains and rivers and forests. I was watching a TV special on bears in Alaska the other day and they said Denali Park is 6 million acres — the same size as the Adirondack Park. The Adirondacks should market itself as the Alaska of the lower 48, the only place big enough and empty enough that the wilderness is really wild. The Adirondacks: It’s wild.

  6. PNElba says:

    In a way, it’s kind of cool that the Adirondacks has avoided this kind of Madison Avenue messaging. This may be one of the few A-list places in America that people really can discover for themselves.

    Couldn’t agree more.

  7. pete g says:

    why does everything need a brand or a logo, a neat little definable package anyway? oh yeah, so it can be sold easier….

  8. Brian Mann says:

    In large part, these comments reflect the essential ambivalence that many Adirondackers feel about the idea that our future is tourism.

    Fair enough.

    But let me redirect a bit. If you were forced to say what you think the Adirondack brand would/should/could be, give us your best shot.

    If you had a chance to say to a couple of billion people, here’s the essential desirability of the Adirondacks as a destination, in a sentence, what would it be?

    — Brian, NCPR

  9. pete g says:

    …if you can get here, come get lost…

  10. Thanks for bringing up this subject. Most of the people that I know, that visit here, come here because it is not over marketed and not commercialized and there are some of the greatest things to do here. Maybe because it is rough, and rugged, ie~wilderness. Our Gore Mountain Region Chamber of Commerce has just completed a branding exercise and came up with “Purely Adirondack”, we’ll see where it takes us. I lived in Vermont, and also in Wellfleet on Cape Cod 25 years ago, you would not want what has happened there, the volume of people that show up at The Cape Code Nat’l Seashore during July and August is beyond belief. It is now impossible to get around on the roads and into the beaches after 10am! If you want people to reconized that they have entered a Park, install a Toll Booth on I-87 in Lake George. Then they would get the picture!! lol, Sincerely, Jill Broderick

  11. Frank says:

    it’s hard to get here and hard to leave, but please do

  12. Alan Gregory says:

    I fell in love with the ADKs in a very short time after the Air Force sent me to Plattsburgh Air Force Base in 1986. I still love it for tehose same reasons: Big, wild natural areas; the freedom to explore; good people; the quickly-realized lack of substantive blight (much the same in Vermont, with its lack of billboards); clean air and water; and more. In two weeks I move to Vermont, my wife’s home state. I am looking forward with great verve to restoring my life in both Vermont and the ADKs.

  13. Paul says:

    Brian, I think that is more than “ambivalence”. I would argue that the majority of folks who live in the Adirondacks (even those that live there on a seasonal basis) do not want to promote tourism in the area. This is the conundrum that the area faces. The area needs tourism to survive but most folks don’t want to throw it a line.

    Also, forget about a billion people. There are millions of folks right here in NYS that have no clue what the Adirondacks is all about. People from here in new york that visit with us at our place in Saranac Lake often had no idea that there was a place like that just a few hours from where they live.

    There is a huge group of potential visitors very close by that if attracted could change the area in substantail ways. I am sure that there are many people reading these stories and saying “Brian keep your mouth shut, we don’t want these folks to know what is here”. The Adirondacks is not protected by vast mountain ranges and remote spaces like Colorado or Maine that you describe. This attitude may be changing in some areas. The local support of the ACR project in Tupper Lake may be a symptom of this. A recognition that we can’t beat them so we may have to join them.

  14. Greg Pedrick says:

    I don’t beleive a “brand” fixes anything. It just brings in the “plastic” people looking for Disneyland. I lived in Vermont for over 10 years, and beleive me I returned to the Adirondacks to get what I went to Vermont for. The Adirondacks are wild, un-cluttered and un-homogenized. I am most interested in seeing it kept that way. Lake George should be a good reflection of what we don’t want to replicate throughout the Park.

  15. Brian Mann says:

    Responding to Will:

    One of the things that kind of bugs me, actually, about our marketing of the Adirondacks is that so little of it focuses on our people and places.

    The videos are all about mountains and lakes and soaring vistas. All good, all important.

    But I really think places like Inlet and Saranac Lake and North Creek and Keene Valley and Westport and Ticonderoga (to name just a few) really ARE cool and inviting enough (yes, even quaint and pretty enough) to lure people in…

    I notice that on the Adirondack Regional Tourism Council’s lead video, there are no communities visible until roughly ninety seconds in…that’s a long time to wait for folks who prefer the arts and shopping to paddling.

    –Brian, NCPR

  16. Fred Goss says:

    As a former long-time resident of the Washington DC area I can report that the “natives” there also purport to dislike tourists and dread the coming of the Spring HS trip season …

    …alas, no area yet has figured out a way to get tourists to “just send money” and not come.

  17. Jeez M. Crow says:

    We are hamstrung by truth in advertising guidelines. Despite their blunt honesty, promotional campaigns like, The Adirondacks: It helps to be high! and Come to the Adirondacks; misery loves company do not focus-group too well.

  18. Lucy Martin says:

    Everything Jim said about Vermont goes double for Hawaii, which marketed itself only too successfully.

    A stable and diversified economy is very much to be preferred over boom & bust cycles and many other drawbacks of tourism.

    Be careful what you wish for indeed!

  19. pete g says:

    i’ve lived in colorado, and the generality of “the rocky mountains” was well divided when visiting vail, boulder, aspen, leadville.
    all had very different lifestyles, people, and economies. i don’t think you can package the ADK’s as one homogeneous entity. maybe this opinion is more helpful.

  20. Barb in Colorado--formerly from the 'Burg says:

    North Country NPR asks: Is it possible to market the Adirondacks differently, so that this place becomes as concrete a brand as, say, the Colorado Rockies or Maine? If so, what would that brand look like? My answer is yes…resoundingly. But in my estimation it is necessary to market the entire region. The fact that you have the Adirondacks, Lake Placid as a known destination, Ottawa Canada, Vermont, The Thousand Islands all within a day’s ( and in most cases hours ) drive of one another ought to really make that area a hub of tourism. Tourism doesn’t happenby itself. Dollars need to be spent. Wheel of Fortune gives away trips all the time…why not put together a package trip to Alex Bay, Lake Placid, Ottawa, and then see if you can work with Wheel to give it away???? You have to work together with other towns and destinations. It could be done, and it should be. Tourism means dollars and jobs.

  21. Peter Hahn says:

    It depends on if you (we) want a vibrant tourism industry or not. People who live in tourist destinations complain about the tourists. But it would be much worse if they didnt show up. I would turn that “be careful what you wish for” around on you guys saying you dont want a better marketing effort. Sure a “stable and diversified economy” would be best but its not going to happen.

  22. Barb in Colorado--formerly from the 'Burg says:

    I forgot the ‘essence” So near, and yet so wild!

  23. John Vargo says:

    I run a restaurant in the Adirondacks, and we are trying to find sustainable ways of creating enough income to survive the very lean off tourism seasons. Our very short season currently runs from the end of June (kids get out of school) to the end of leaf season, generally this is Columbus day weekend. We simply can’t run on tourism dollars alone. An industry of alpine meadow raised meats like in the European Alps, and also New Zealand, could create a year round source of quality jobs. Also with our close proximity to NYC, Boston and Montreal, we are perfectly located to provide the restaurant industries of these cities with local high quality animal products. The key is to put the initiative into private investors heads that there is money to be made, simply by the economics of proximity to these markets. We just have to be careful to keep our quality world class, and not create factory farming, or let it (FF) convince us that crappy meat is what we need. Also I believe that the water resources of our glacial aquifers will be jeopardized if we allow the lowest common denominator(the gov’t) to handle the water rights issue. Water is the next oil, and if we do not want to end up like the poor people of the oil producing countries- we had better put those rights in the hands of the people. Just imagine no taxes, but rather a yearly water payment to the residents like they do in Alaska w/ oil. Also, if NY State would eliminate out of state hunting and fishing license fees, many more sportsmen (and women) would discover our abundant wildlife resources. Doubt the DEC could see the benefit though, the box is too big to see outside of. Keep up the great reporting Brian.

  24. Pete Klein says:

    A brand name? We already have it and it’s too bad we never copyrighted it. It’s the Adirondack chair. Imagine how much money the region would have if anyone who made an Adirondack chair had to pay us a royalty.
    On the good side of that, just about anyone world has hear of the name, Adirondack.
    Yes, we have much to market. Many good features have already been pointed out. Here in Hamilton County, in addition to being able to offer a great 4 season experience, we also have a very vibrant Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts, the Adirondack Museum, Great Camp Sagamore and the WW Durant cruise, to mention only a few attractions that don’t involve going into the woods.
    Wake up people! Sell the sizzle of what we have and stop the complaining. You scare people away.

  25. Barb in Colorado--formerly from the 'Burg says:

    And I agree with the whole Adirondack chair idea….”you all know the Adirondack chair ( photo guy by a lake fishing ) now let us show you the Adirondacks! ” And scenes from the region..hiking and camping yes, bur also Placid, Thousand Islands ( ok, not truly the Adirondacks, but still a heckuva draw and only a few hours away) Museum, Sagamore, Lake George etc…a photo collage..and put that commercial on in LA and Denver as well as NYC. I know it costs money…but there’s no way around spending some. Spend it in effective markets.

  26. You’re right, Brian, Ti and Keene Valley and Saranac Lake are lovely places. And they don’t suffer from the terminal quaintness of Vermont. And the local people don’t drive 10 miles per hour under the speed limit. But I still think the amazing wild character of the Park is its unique characteristic. Part of the problem in marketing that is the ambivalence you reference. Many people feel, I think, it spoils the wilderness to exploit it for commercial gain, even if very little environmental damage results. With a couple of exceptions — white water rafting — only a tiny bit of the tourism potential of the Adirondack wilderness has been tapped.

  27. One of my ‘pet peeves’ has been the exclusion of people and towns in the ADK ads. As Brian said, the focus is always on trees, mountains and lakes. But we have an amazing amount of creative and resourceful people that live here! And places like Saranac Lake are where they gather and display their unique talents!

    Why can’t we promote one of our BEST resources: The PEOPLE! THE TOWNS that support the local people! And in those towns, YES, the LOCAL BUSINESSES.

    I think everyone knows what an Adk chair looks like. They know what a lake looks like. They know what a mountain looks like, too, I’ll bet. If not, they’ll have to drive past ’em all to get anywhere, here.

    So LET’S SHOW VIDEOS AND PHOTOS OF TOWNS AND PEOPLE! There are very few small towns with a viable downtown left, anywhere, outside of Disney World. And I’m proud to say Saranac Lake (to date…) hasn’t filled it’s downtown with Mall Outlet shops (the way most of Lake Placid has gone). Most of us make at least some of our inventory, try to buy local, and therefore have original and creative inventories at damn reasonable prices!

    I know Saranac Lake is the home of many artists, artisans and creative people. As well as healers, historians and the fiercely independent types. Perhaps part of what makes us so vibrantly unique is what prevents us from forming any consensus?~!

  28. john says:

    I remember several years, my wife and I went to Vt to do some leaf-peeping. As examined a travel brochure/map, I had the sudden realization that the picture on the front of the brochure, touting Vt’s beautiful foliage, was actually a view of the eastern Adirondacks from the Vt shore of Lake Champlain.

  29. Mervel says:

    I have to agree with Will. The point is to differentiate ourselves, and the point of differentiation is that this is the largest single expanse of wilderness on the Eastern Seaboard AND also the most accessible for the outdoors enthusiast. The Five Ponds wilderness area is the largest never been cut old growth forest in the East for example.

    Sure we have some nice villages we also have some not so great villages, but regardless none of them compete with the Vermont villages (which seem kind of fake anyway) and manicured neat farms and rolling hills.

  30. Michael Whittaker says:

    Tourism for the Adirondaks and most of Northern New York is the viable economic development opportunity. Eco Tourism, cultural tourism, adventure tourism can be growth industries, but local entrepreneurs, community organizations and chambers of commerce have to get on this development band wagon. The Adirondaks can be marketed as a unit, but more importantly, what are and where are the clusters of attractions? How can these be package and promoted to attract tourists? What elements are “sticky” in the region; that is, what will hold visitors in place long enough to spend money. That’s what it comes down to is an infusion of cash and job creation. Many may be Mcjob’s and seasonal; not everyone can lead the pack.

    What is the Adirondak brand? Winter sports and summer fun? A brand is basically what people think and believe, so there must be many vibrant brand qualities to discover and promote in these two categories alone. The area’s social and natural history are an exciting quilt of tourist potential.

    By way of example, like many others I am a heritage/history tourist. Draw us in by bundling those types of Adirondak attractions in a single promotion with suggested driving routes. Pick the tourist type, offer the right bait and they’ll come.

    The Adirondaks to not need to become a garish offering of guady tourist traps.

    Canadian Friend

  31. oa says:

    1. Slogan: New York’s Cool Belt
    2. Make sure to include Lake Champlain in the ADK brand.
    3. Tourism doesn’t just creat tourism jobs; when rich second homeowners come to a place, they often relocate work facilities or start new businesses nearby. (Ladies and Gentlemen, the cantankerous and oddly named Salim Lewis!) It happened in NJ horse country, and in Colorado, and in VT. Hate Vermonsters all you want, but the socialists over there embrace capitalism.

  32. Hope Frenette says:

    The “Adirondacks” New York’s best kept Secret. Don’t tell anybody what’s here.

  33. Fritz Sabbow says:

    I think what helps to charm and bring people back to an area is consistent messages, ease of access, a pleasant atmosphere and people much like themselves being present. Other parks (national parks, monuments, forests) around the country have very clear visual things makin people comfortable to travel through – brown and gold signs, boundary designations, natural features – ours really need a major upgrade. We need conveniences like cell service everywhere in travel zones, places for people to comfortably stop and ask questions, etc. Our brand needs to be developed from our resources – what we have and what we can provide – within a 1 day’s drive from NY, much of NE and southern Quebec and Ontario.

  34. Paul says:

    New England has much better ski area development than the Adirondacks has. What do we have two areas that are publicly owned? Build some things that people want to do then you can figure out the ad campaign. Imagine a ski lodge nestled in Avalanche Pass in the high peaks, with gondolas and high speed chairs going up both sides of the pass??? One can dream!

  35. Amaredelectare says:

    Just to be the Devil’s advocate:)……

    I’d like to see the day return when the “Northway” I-87 was torn up and Rte’s 9 and 9N were the main thoroughfares through our little hamlets. Towns everywhere in the counties bustled with activity back then. There were 33 farms in town then, now there’s one. The “Northway” turned communities into ghost towns.

    Tear down the Bobsled run, Ski Jumps, and state-owned ski centers enabling the forest re-growth and get NYS out of ruining the mountainsides. Disband ORDA and send all the motel/hotel owners who staff their Boards home. Stop spending taxpayer’s hard-earned monies on promoting sports and sports venues for the benefit of a few rich hotel owners and attorneys. Stop erecting cell towers.

    Discourage any more McDonald’s, Walmart’s, Stewart’s and other franchises from settling here and providing low-wage dead-end jobs. Let the locals promote their own “Mom & Pop” businesses.

    In short, let’s stop fantasizing and daydreaming about ways of sharing this area with the whole world. It is now possible to hike to the summit of Mt. Marcy, see 500 people at the top and hear 100 cell phones on the way up and back. People are busy “loving” this place right to death. Look around.

  36. If only we could tear down Mt. Marcy while we’re at it, Amaredelectare, or at least fence it off, because it attracts too many of those darn people making the place look ugly. And they talk! That chattering of theirs is the most infernal noise pollution. And they want to work (commuting by car — annoying!), and to eat, too, at the same restaurants as people all across the country, as if they were entitled to a normal life up here in the Adirondacks.

  37. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Unless I’ve missed it, nobody has suggested the obvious…we need a television situation comedy! Nothing brands a place like a sit-com. I have long believed that somebody is actually at work secretly filming up here. When I drive through a town and see a guy walking around in July in his flannel shirt with a 5 day growth of beard, untied workboots and a Stihl baseball cap I wonder “actual local flavor or extra from central casting?”

    If anyone wants to work on scripts for an Adirondack themed TV script I’m IN. And I have some good ideas. In fact, we could use the regulars from this blog as prototypes. I mean, is xxxx not a perfect character for our new show?

  38. Glenn L. Pearsall says:

    The issue is bigger than wordsmithing, but years ago the Adirondack Museum featured featured an exhibit called “A Peopled Wilderness”. I think this phrase, more than any other, depicts the uniqueness of the Adirondack Park – a balance of “forever wild” vistas and year round communities. An Adirondack chair in the logo would be great – in brown and yellow. ALL marketing from the region – motels, communities and locally made items – shuld feature something like this, including the state highway signs throughout the Park. This would help create an “Adirondack Consciousness” that will help us brand ourselves.

  39. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Picture it:
    Journalist from Alaska gets a job at a New York NPR affiliate only to find out that it isn’t New York City, it’s the ADIRONDACKS!!!!! Black flies, bears fish and moose…except that there really aren’t that many moose and when somebody sees one it becomes a local holiday. Cast members include the old-timey Frenchy logger, the hippy back to the earth-er couple, the ex-cop sheep farmer, the billionaire summer guy, the artist chick, the down to earth guide boat builder, the tree hugger environmentalist couple, the outdoors guy, the Olympian, and Radio Bob. Hijinks ensue!

  40. Amaredelectare says:

    Don’t forget me Knucklehead, I could be frantically fencing in Mt. Marcy with my ear plugs in each time the camera pans in my direction.

  41. Paul says:

    Knuck, my father was in that one. One day he took a summer job after getting his masters degree from Cornell without checking where it was. He thought that Ray Brook was in Westchester county when he figured out where it was on a map he knew he was in for an adventure! True story.

  42. Paul says:

    Amaredelectare, this is close to the old Earth First plan for the park.

  43. Folks, every place has ‘off seasons’, that’s not an ‘affliction’ that JUST the ADKs ‘suffers’.

    Oregon, the Rockies, the Cape, Maine, Florida…all of ’em. The difference is, there are in many (but not all) off these areas/(tourism) markets, established multi-layered business communities BESIDES tourism…

    or, short commutes to sustainable manufacturing, educational, financial, or, government JOBS.

    ADKBREWCO is working on a solution, stay tuned: http://adkbrewco.info

  44. Ben Hamelin says:

    “Come prepared, leave repaired” – The healthy environment is the true draw of this region, in my opinion. Whether it be a healthy lifestyle and community to raise one’s family, or a clean air vacation, it’s all about living what we perceive to be a healthy, natural, sustainable lifestyle. Just need to do something about our neighbor states to the west, not liking being down-wind!

  45. Mervel says:

    The unique thing is though that the high peaks, mt. Marcy etc, are a tiny part of the Adirondacks. I say keep all of the cell phones and masses in the high peaks, leave the true wilderness alone! This is the cool part about the area, there are wild options for everyone; if you want to climb some peaks sure go to the high peaks, if you want to be utterly alone in wilderness head for the Five Ponds or the Santa Clara tract or other numerous places; the hiking access is unmatched and that is the difference. We will never compete with the upscale villages in Vermont or NH and this is a good thing they can’t compete with our unique Eastern Wilderness experience.

  46. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I like the Town of Thurman bumper sticker, something like “Thurman, it’s a state of mind. Get used to it.”

    Or maybe; “the Adirondack Park, it’s on your GPS, check it.” Or maybe; “the Adirondacks, leave your cell at home.”

    But I have a better suggestion for “branding” (a term I dislike–sounds so cowboy) the Adirondacks; “World Class–not bragging.”

    So you do the Don Draper thing with it.

  47. Walker says:

    “Imagine a ski lodge nestled in Avalanche Pass in the high peaks, with gondolas and high speed chairs going up both sides of the pass???”

    Yeah, and fab condos climbing the Trap Dike!!! Sound from hot bands playing shishi bars echoing off the cliffs!


  48. Paul says:

    Walker, I hear you. The problem with the ACR is not what it is but “where” it is. Like I said the thing is that most folks don’t want the area to be more developed. They want it to be less developed. Places like Summit County in Colorado utilize the natural resources they have to their economic benefit. Call it exploitation call it progress the debate will always rage on. Places like the Adirondacks will eventually feel the growing pains that were felt in Europe many years ago. What was once a beautiful “alpine area” is now a beautiful “alpine ski area” that draws folks from all over the world. Will we see changes here??

  49. Jim Bullard says:

    I could have mention Greenwich Village and Woodstock, both right here in NY. At one time both were inexpensive places until they because ‘cool’ and ‘in’. They got branded and sold and most of the people who made them what they were ended up leaving because ordinary folk couldn’t afford them any more. I remember a tourism ad from Oregon several years ago, that said (paraphrased) “Come to Oregon, and then go back home”. I liked “The Adirondacks: It’s Wild” or maybe ‘Get in touch with your wild side in the Adirondacks’.

    The Adirondacks have tourism. I don’t think more tourism is the answer. Too much putting all the eggs in one basket. Some creative thinking is needed to create year round job opportunities. “Alpine meat” might work but I suspect that would need more land than workers. The ideal thing would build on Adirondack identity, use local resources frugally and be labor intensive.

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