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Longtime visitors buy Hamilton County cross-country ski resort

Longtime visitors buy Hamilton County cross-country ski resort

A New Jersey couple has purchased the Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center, a four-season resort in t
Longtime visitors buy Hamilton County cross-country ski resort
Kathryn and Paul Zahray, formerly of Matawan, N.J., are the new owners of Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center in the Hamilton County town of Benson.

A New Jersey couple has purchased the Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center, a four-season resort in the southern Adirondacks.

Kathryn and Paul Zahray, formerly of Matawan, New Jersey, who vacationed at the Hamilton County landmark for more than 17 years, plan on making it their home.

“We are thrilled to assume ownership of this very unique property, which has been such an integral part of our lives for so many years,” said Paul Zahray. “Kathy and I plan to maintain the high standards for which the resort has become known.

“Lapland Lake will continue as a cross-country ski center and family-friendly, year-round resort.”

Founder Olavi Hirvonen and his wife, Ann, who owned the resort for the last 36 years, will work closely with the Zahrays, assisting them in all areas of resort operation, including trail maintenance, lodging operations, food service and ski equipment, a news release said.

Hirvonen, a member of the U.S. cross country ski team in the 1960 Olympics, designed the ski area. The trail system has 50 kilometers of trails for all ability levels. Thirty-eight kilometers of the trails are marked, mapped and groomed with trackset and skating lanes; 12 kilometers are marked and mapped but ungroomed snowshoe trails.

Cross country ski lessons are offered daily by certified instructors. Other activities include ice skating, tubing, sledding, kick sledding and wilderness ski touring.

“My wife, Ann, and I are so pleased to have the Zahrays assume the reins here at Lapland Lake,” Hirvonen said. “Paul and Kathy have been our customers for many years and have now become good friends. We look forward to assisting them in all areas of resort operations for an extended period of time.”

The new owners say they will look to increase partnerships with local businesses and plan to continue the resort’s long-standing support of cross-country ski racing.

The couple will look to place an emphasis on introducing youths to cross-country skiing by promoting programs geared toward younger age groups.

The purchase price was not immediately available. Financing for the purchase and working capital was facilitated by Adirondack Bank, the Hamilton County Industrial Development Agency and the Development Authority of the North Country.

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