Survey shows many want to move to Adirondacks

Nearly 25% of people in a recent survey indicated that they plan to move to the Adirondacks within the next five years and are looking for recreational opportunities, affordable single-family homes and high-speed internet.

Among the top destinations were Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Lake George, according to a study commissioned by EDC Warren County and the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism in Lake Placid.

Camoin Associations of Saratoga Springs conducted a survey that was promoted on social media by a variety of organizations and emailed to people on mailing lists. A total of 6,773 responses were collected from Jan. 19 to Jan. 29 of this year.

About 10% of people said they were “very likely” to move to the Adirondacks within the next five years and 14% said they were “somewhat likely.” The top designation was Lake Placid with 56%, Saranac Lake with 43%, Hamilton County with 25% and Lake George with 24%.

The respondents were seeking two- and three-bed homes. Some expressed a desire for a second home within driving distance of their current residence.

A total of 82% of people surveyed say they visit the Adirondacks at least once a year.

The most important factors cited by those surveyed when selecting a place to live were quality and affordable housing and outdoor recreational opportunities, which were both cited by 64% of respondents. That was followed by availability of health care services at 54%; high-speed internet access, 47%; and employment opportunities, 45%.

About half of people surveyed said work opportunities would keep them from relocating. That was followed by housing availability at 29%; housing affordability, 28%; high-speed internet at 26%; and health care at 24%.

Among the concerns expressed by people surveyed was whether it was affordable to relocate to the Adirondacks due to housing costs, high taxes and high cost of living.

Other concerns were the winter weather, access to supermarkets and lack of diversity.

About 62% of people who responded were from New York state. More than 40% of respondents have the ability to work remotely full-time or part-time. Remote workers and retirees indicated the most desire to relocate.

EDC Warren County President Jim Siplon said the survey showed there are opportunities to attract new residents.

“We have known professional relocation to our area was underway, but this survey validates that the combination of world-class recreation and regional assets make this truly one of the most desired relocation sites in the world,” he said in a news release.

“It is clear we must work with our municipal, business and professional partners throughout the region to better understand, plan for and meet this exciting opportunity to enhance our local economies while keenly addressing the attendant demand for housing, broadband and infrastructure this movement is also highlighting,” he said.

James McKenna, CEO of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism in Lake Placid, said the remote workers can provide a “new economic base and a year-round economy that is less dependent on the seasonal swings of tourism.”

Planners can use the survey to boost private investment in new and redeveloped housing stock, he said.

“Planned properly, new residents can sustain our communities, bring our school enrollments back to pre-2000 levels, and provide a better quality of life and services for our current residents,” he said.


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