Plans unveiled for West Mountain’s future

0

QUEENSBURY, NY (NEWS10) – The West Mountain ski area already offers plenty of trails, from ski and snowboard runs in the winter to mountain biking trails and other festivities when the snow has melted. The owners dream bigger, however, and over the weekend they showed what those dreams look like.

Owners Spencer and Sara Montgomery welcomed about 200 visitors to West Mountain on Sunday to talk about its future. That future centers on “The Woods at West Mountain,” a proposed $140 million project that would populate the space north of the ski area with more than 200 residences, a new lodge, shopping mall, and hotel — as well as the potential for much more traffic along West Mountain Road.

“Thank you to everyone who came to spend the morning with us; share your interest, enthusiasm, questions or concerns,” West Mountain said on Facebook. “It was a fun day and we really live in a great community of people, regardless of their opinion, who can enjoy the day and have a civil discourse.”

The existing West Mountain ski area would not be moved or altered from its location along West Mountain Road. To the north of the lodge and the main lifts is the northwest base of the mountain, a separate property that is not often used or open for use. This base is part of the larger expanse of property where The Woods at West Mountain would be located, with a northernmost property line extending away from the end of Pitcher Road.

From West Mountain Road, visitors would see a visitor center, smaller apartments, and a shopping mall with condominiums on the upper floors. A road extending west from there would lead to 20 duplex townhouses, a spa, and an athletics club; a hotel of 60 to 80 units and a conference center; then, winding further along the northern edge of the mountain, a neighborhood of 46 single-family homes.

Co-owner Spencer Montgomery explained on the ski area’s Facebook page that the newly acquired property north of the mountain was effectively abandoned prior to purchase. Although some trees will need to be removed, the property is not heavily wooded. The West Mountain that visitors and locals know and love will remain.

“The main base area on the south side, where over 90% of the activity has always taken place, is segregated and is still definitely vintage West Mountain and will remain so,” Montgomery wrote. “We have worked tirelessly for over 10 years on West Mountain with our partners and employees. I grew up on this – not only will it be a wonderful resort, but it won’t impact the “Americana” of the ski area, or in a negative way.”

In Montgomery’s eyes, the development would also help stabilize the mountain’s economy. West Mountain has its fair share of competition for skiing in the Adirondacks, with Gore Mountain a hotbed of winter sports about 35 miles north of North Creek. Willard Mountain in Greenwich, Whiteface in the Adirondack High Peaks, and even Maple Ski Ridge in Schenectady all create an active ecosystem for any mountain looking to attract business. Ideally, the added accommodations will increase the mountain’s clientele and help ticket prices stay competitive.

The new addition may also be just the ticket to add to summertime entertainment – something the Montgomery family has been emphasizing in recent years. In the summer of 2020, there was an attempt to hold a 4th of July concert at the foot of the mountain, socially distanced at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bringing music to the mountains has never left the list of priorities. Other summer events at the mountain include picnics, day camps, and treetop zipline courses.

Montgomery also clarified that The Woods at West Mountain is not intended to be a gated community. While some homes may be more expensive, the plan is for the neighborhood as a whole to become part of the community. The mall is expected to include an organic grocery store, cafe and restaurants, with walking paths lining the property.

And, of course, the project would also add to the skiing experience. The new lodge would be joined by a new high-speed lift, passing just between the new development and the existing slopes. Construction is expected to take place over the next decade and is expected to create approximately 2,000 construction jobs. Renderings were created by Luizzi Companies.

Share.

Comments are closed.