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North Country News

Frontier Town Redevelopment Plans Reviewed

Mike Spain

The New York state Department of Environmental Conservation released its plan for redevelopment of the former Frontier Town site in North Hudson earlier this month and held public information sessions on Monday.
During his 2017 State of the State address, Governor Andrew Cuomo called for establishing a Gateway to the Adirondacks at the old Frontier Town theme park in North Hudson. He described his plan at an appearance in Plattsburgh soon after.  "We want to build a gateway to the Adirondacks at that spot.  $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.”

Since the governor’s announcement, the Department of Environmental Conservation, Open Space Institute, and the five surrounding Adirondack towns have worked with the Chazen Companies to draft a plan.

The Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area is a $13 million project on 91 acres. Trails will connect to existing trails and snowmobile networks.  The camping facilities include 33 equestrian, 13 RV and trailer as well as 45 tent sites.  Town of North Hudson Supervisor Ron Moore was at the DEC presentations on Monday and believes many people are excited about the opportunities moving forward.  “After so many years without Frontier Town, businesses closing, jobs lost, now we have this new opportunity.  It's vital to us here in North Hudson but I don't think just to North Hudson.  I think it will affect the surrounding communities and hopefully it'll boost the economy for all of us.”

Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board Executive Director Fred Monroe notes that the five towns have been working for years to connect hiking, biking, paddling, snowmobile and equestrian trails.  He says the Frontier Town project provides the connecting gateway.  “I think it's a very good plan. You know obviously we're sensitive to the natural resources on the site.  But they’ve managed to make maximum use of  it with the campgrounds and the Paradox Brewery site and it looks like they're going to have other businesses that will locate there.”   

The redevelopment of the Frontier Town area is intended to create a tourism destination with opportunities for private investment.  Paradox Brewery is finalizing plans to build an expansion adjacent to the former theme park.  President Paul Mrocka says he planned to build there before he knew of the state’s plans.  “I want to stay in the Adirondacks. I want to promote more jobs for folks and stuff.  The state I think can be very successful there. I mean I hope there’s  more private entities that gets  involved in this project but right now it's a nice start to have those campgrounds and year round access to the trails and snowmobiling.”

If the APA approves the application, construction would begin in February. The day-use center would open in the fall of 2018 and campsites in the summer of 2019.