State and regional officials were in North Hudson, New York last week for a groundbreaking marking new development at the former Frontier Town theme park.
In his 2017 State of the State address, Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined a number of initiatives for the North Country. A week and a half later during a visit to Plattsburgh, the Democrat detailed his plan to create a “Gateway to the Adirondacks” at the former Frontier Town in North Hudson. “$32 million to redevelop the existing property as a multi-use facility: camping, access to Schroon Lake, dining, lodging, hiking, preserve the history of Frontier Town, but really build a new gateway facility to the Adirondacks.”
Groundbreaking on a key component of the plan was held last week. The state is investing $19 million dollars to develop a new campground, which includes a day-use area and equestrian camping on about 91 acres of land. DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos told the crowd of officials gathered at the former theme park that the project balances protection of resources and the economy of the hamlets within the Adirondacks. “We also do this because we want to spread out the use in the Adirondacks. There’s incredible intensive use on really a small number of areas in the Adirondacks. And that’s unfortunate because there are incredibly beautiful places in the Adirondacks that people can visit. So part of this is creating a hub where people can create a new launching off point. This is a real gateway for us where we can send people in different directions and attract people.”
Town of North Hudson Supervisor Ron Moore says the redevelopment of Frontier Town will revitalize the five towns of the mid-Adirondacks. “In 1952 Frontier Town opened and for more than 40 years thousands visited our town creating many many jobs. Our businesses flourished. But when they closed in 1999 those jobs went away and slowly the businesses closed their doors. And now after 20 years of suffering we have a new hope for the future. Put all of that together with the Boreas Ponds Tract and I believe that we’ll have a new, unique recreational opportunity that’ll make this a world class destination.”
The groundbreaking also marks the beginning of private investment at the site as Paradox Brewery begins construction on $5.2 million facility on an 11-acre parcel. Brewery founder Paul Mrocka envisions a bright future for the brewery and the region. “This ceremony marks a milestone for the Town of North Hudson, Essex County and the surrounding towns. It’s a renaissance for the North Country. Since Frontier Town has closed there’s been little investment in the North Country. Many small businesses open and close in just a few years. Paradox being the first private investment in this project believe that if you build it they will come. Since I’m a dreamer I imagine a day where projects like hotels, retails, outside venues and festivals. Imagine a festival right down at the end of the road there, all through this area here. The hiking, the horseback riding, the snowmobiling, everything here it’s going to be wonderful.”
The NYS DEC expects to open the Day Use area this fall and the Frontier Town Campground and Equestrian area by summer 2019.