Jubin family will operate it as ski center this winter
By Zachary Matson
The Adirondack Mountain Club notched a deal to purchase the Cascade Ski Center, a major step toward converting the Route 73 property into a hub of educational programming and trails information run by the prominent hiking club.
Both parties on Wednesday confirmed the agreement and said a contract was imminent. An arrangement would allow the current owners to continue operating the ski center through this winter season before the club takes over in the spring with plans that include continuing the Nordic outdoor activities.
ADK Executive Director Michael Barrett on Thursday said the club agreed to a purchase price of around $2.5 million for the 200-acre property.
ADK spokesman Ben Brosseau said the club’s board approved the deal Tuesday, clearing the way for Board President Tom Andrews to sign the contract. After the signing, the club would then move forward with a property inspection before the sale is completed, Brosseau said.
Jen Jubin, whose family has long owned the ski center, on Wednesday said the contract was all but sealed and expressed enthusiasm about the club’s plan to continue the property, in part, as a cross country ski facility.
“They have been amazing and we couldn’t be more excited,” Jubin said.
Jubin said the ski center will be operated as normal this winter, opening Oct. 29. She said the restaurant would not serve a full menu, due to COVID precautions, but that the great room would be open to people to bring their own food, enjoy a fire to purchase beer and chili.
“We are running this season until April 1, business as usual, the same ownership and same plan,” Jubin said. “This winter: you can expect the same old fam, same old operations, until April when ADK takes possession.”
Her father, Lake Placid native Art Jubin, founded Cascade Ski Center in 1979, five miles east of the village on the High Peaks region’s main thoroughfare. He built the lodge, which gradually expanded to include the ski shop, bunk rooms, and a bigger bar and restaurant. The ski center for years has hosted famous full moon parties through the winter months. Jen Jubin said the family was still deciding whether to hold another party this winter.
Jubin said she and her family were impressed by the mountain club’s vision to use the center as an information center, filling a serious need in the region.
“The Rt. 73 location is unparalleled for reaching visitors and expanding on the resource ADK has been executing so well for the past 100 years,” Jubin said. “The Adirondacks needs strong and experienced community allies to address the impacts of climate change and overuse. We’ve been really impressed by ADK leadership and their emboldened commitment to serving the place that holds our hearts.”
Barrett in a recent interview outlined the club’s vision for using the ski center as a base for expanding its educational programming and serving as a central location for visitors to the High Peaks to stop to get information about trails, hiking safety and other opportunities in the area.
Barrett said the club would use the property as a site to host the organization’s many education programs, which he said fill up quickly but are constrained by space limitations.
“It’s very much a manifestation of where we want to go, talking about Cascade is very much talking about what’s next for the club,” Barrett said.
The Cascade location on Route 73 would also offer a central spot for hikers visiting the area to get trail information and ask questions of mountain club staff. The staff could in turn suggest lesser-known hikes or provide tips on hiking safety. Part of the club’s goal is to reduce the heavy use at its Heart Lake trailhead and support broader efforts to spread hiker traffic more widely in the park.
“We very much want to not increase the people who are coming to Heart Lake… we think that area is already stressed,” Barrett said. “We want to be a part of helping spread people out and to get a location on the Route 73 corridor to engage hikers and talk to them about what their goals are for the day, make sure they are prepared.”
Barrett at the time also said the club would plan to maintain the ski center trails and offer winter recreation programs, especially in an attempt to appeal to younger audiences.
“Cascade would allow us to provide incredible cross-country ski options, snowshoe options,” he said. “This is what we want to do. We want to facilitate people’s introduction to all kinds of different ways to enjoy the Adirondacks which are responsible and includes a wilderness ethic, and we will be looking to do more of that moving forward.”
The club has also listed its own Lake George property for sale. Barrett has said the property, which primarily houses administrative offices, is not ideally situated to host events or serve as a central information hub like other locations.
He said there has been interest in the property but nothing is finalized. The club is also looking into leasing a smaller space in the Glens Falls area that could serve as a location in the southern part of the Adirondacks.
Editor’s note: This story was updated to include more details about the agreement.