The governor came up to the area to promote the outdoors and how great it is up here.
But that last line puts it into perspective:
Outside Indian Lake Central School, the staging area for the day’s events, Bruce Mitchell, a local resident tasked with shuttling dignitaries to and from the rapids, remained skeptical on the effects of such a star-powered event in this small community, the second in as many years.
“We still don’t have a grocery store,” he shrugged.
Related to the post about the Upstate NY tourism economy: North Country Public Radio has recently reported on how prison closings will affect communities upstate.
It’s a messy conflict. State government wants nothing that could look like a for-profit prison industry and incarceration society, but people in rural communities have depended on those opportunities to support themselves and their families. For those that don’t depend on those jobs, the phrase Nimby comes to mind.
If you want to know how things are in rural areas like upstate New York, this report by Brian Mann sheds some light.
There has been a tug-of-war between tourism and industry here, but I think most industry has given up the fight because of changing economic realities. Young people don’t usually stick around the area because of job opportunities elsewhere, leaving an industry of tourism built upon remote areas. Now the traits that have made these areas desirable before can end up hurting them because of their lack of infrastructure.
This report states that in 2012 about 12% of the jobs available in the Adirondacks were tourism related. I thought it was higher.
People are moving away from my neck of the woods.
MF: We also saw a small population loss in Warren County, but the numbers are especially stark for Hamilton County, not the most populous county to start with. There the population has dropped below 4,800 people – that’s in the entire county. And the data shows that one out of four of those residents is over the age of 65.
BPM: Right, and that’s tough. I think a lot of people are starting to look at Hamilton County as sort of a special case, an extremely rural, extremely remote part of the Adirondack Park that is now at serious risk of dropping below the population threshold where they can sustain core services – things like grocery stores and public schools, services for seniors who live there, and volunteer fire departments.
Back in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s when the Cold War was hot, the U.S. government built hundreds of Atlas-F missile silos (for 18 Million each in 1961) to prepare the country for an attack that never came. Today, most of these silos lie abandoned and filled with water, monuments to governments wastefulness and a bygone era.
But now, thanks to two entrepreneurial cousins, one of these silos located in beautiful Adirondack State Park is finding new life as a luxury home with its own private airport.
$2.3 million. Can withstand nuclear and biochemical attacks.