By SARA RUBERG
New York’s Olympic Regional Development Authority surprised the town board of North Elba when it released its designs for the new Mount Van Hoevenberg base lodge and surrounding facilities last month.
The $32 million lodge construction project was awarded to Pike Company, a Rochester-based firm which has constructed other buildings around the Adirondacks in the past. In addition to the lodge, mountain coasters, ski trails, athletic training facilities and more will be constructed at Mount Van Hoevenberg. The projects in total will cost $60 million.
The base lodge will be ORDA’s biggest investment in the project. The lodge and other facilities will sit on North Elba town property. At a town hall meeting on Tuesday, the town board of met with ORDA representatives to discuss including them in the project.
“[The board] wished that maybe we would have been more advisory in the grandioseness of our plan,” Arthur Lussi, the town’s ORDA representative, said at the meeting.
The area serves Nordic skiers and some snowshoers in winter, and hikers in summer.
The town board has not been included in decisions made on the Mount Van Hoevenberg project up to this point, according to several board members. While many board members were grateful to see the new developments, some wished the town had been included in the process.
“We are very grateful for all the money that’s being allocated for all the improvements,” said Derek Doty, a North Elba town board member. “There’s part of me that wishes the town was more involved in the design phase since many of the venues sit on town property.”
ORDA representatives Lussi and Mike Pratt agreed the board would be included in upcoming proposals. Some plans for Mount Van Hoevenberg have yet to be unveiled and finalized. Costs for development of the complexes are still being analyzed by ORDA.
ORDA hopes visitors will be using the base lodge and other facilities by the winter of 2021, although some construction and renovations may go beyond that season.