To the editor:
The Dewey Mountain ski and snowshoe programs have completed another successful season. It is a rewarding experience to see not only the number of users and the mixture of age groups, but the surprising number of visitors from out of the area who come to Saranac Lake to enjoy the recreational opportunities that Dewey Mountain offers.
This does not happen by itself. Yes, there are excellent staff there who maintain and operate the facility, but it is the sponsors and volunteers who contribute in such a positive and energetic way that make the season so much fun for all the users. The estimated number of users is more than 4,000 winter visits from all ages.
New and improved trails and the new signage for the trails enhanced this season's utilization of the facility, fostering increased use. Volunteers working in the offseason have improved the ski and snowshoe trails. This fall the plan is to complete the 2.5 km Iron Bill cross-country ski loop as a new addition for the coming snow season.
In keeping with the town's effort to make Dewey a multi-season facility, and again thanks to volunteers (Barkeater Trails Alliance), there are about 5 miles of mountain bike trails for use when the trails dry up. June 30 is the target date to inaugurate the grand opening of the bike trails. In the off-winter seasons, we often find hikers taking advantage of the trail system and the view from the top of the mountain, and adding one more multi-season dimension to the use of the facility.
The Harrietstown Town Board would also like to give special thanks to the donors who have helped us pass the $80,000 mark toward the new lodge facility, especially the Uihlein Foundation, whose challenge grant provided momentum. The facility is now well positioned to match a North Country Regional Economic Development Council grant, which it will seek this year in hopes of breaking ground in 2014.
Dewey Mountain Friends, working with the Saranac Lake Rotary Foundation, have been the driving force to plan, organize and actuate capital improvments at Dewey Mountain. Without their immense contribution of human resources, none of this could happen.
The Harrietstown board would like to thank the 399 individuals and businesses that have helped Dewey raise $84,000 over the winter toward a new lodge facility. A big thank-you goes to program sponsors and volunteers who make all the seasonal events happen in such a successful way. We invite people to use Dewey in all seasons and continue to support the fundraising effort for the new multi-season lodge.
Members of the Harrietstown Town Board: