It’s been awhile since this area has experienced the combination of snow and cold we’ve had recently. But you can be pretty sure it won’t last very long. That’s not the case in the North Country, especially the Adirondacks Tug Hill Plateau, where lake-effect snow comes early and stays late; and, with the plateau at over 2,000 feet of elevation, so does the cold. These are winter conditions that can be taken advantage of — and Gov. Cuomo, to his credit, is trying.
Last Monday the governor suited up and rode a snowmobile in Lowville, snowmobiling capital of the Adirondacks, after introducing a new $4.5 million advertising campaign to promote winter recreation in the North Country. In July he did something similar, coming to Indian Lake for the inaugural Governor’s Adirondack Challenge, a two-day whitewater raft race, after which he launched a new advertising campaign to encourage summer recreation.
Cuomo is a frequent summer visitor to the Adirondacks, where he spends time with his daughters around Saranac Lake. He knows the importance of tourism to the region and its struggling economy, and wants to increase it.
But not just in places where visitors already flock, like Lake George and Lake Placid, and not just with boating, fishing, rafting and hiking in summer and skiing in winter. He also wants to get them into the interior for snowmobiling.
Make that more of them. Enough snowmobilers already come, drawn by more than 800 miles of groomed trails, to make this a major industry in the Adirondacks — for many towns their economic lifeblood. And more can be expected to come as the state connects communities under its Adirondacks snowmobile trail plan. It will also, under a recently adopted land classification plan, create a new trail right through the spectacular heart of the region between North Creek and Newcomb.
Cuomo’s advertising campaign, targeting residents and tourists in New York City (one poster for subways shows a snowmobiler over the city skyline) as well as other states and countries, is well conceived and well timed.