Screenshot via Adirondack Experience
The Adirondack Museum, a popular destination with both locals and tourists, has rebranded as the “Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake.”
BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE — The Adirondack Museum has rebranded and will now be known as the “Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake.”
“These updates are the product of several years of careful consideration and planning, and position the museum to be more attractive to the next generation of visitors,” the museum announced Tuesday in a press release.
Despite the rebranding, the full collection and range of programs and activities at the popular Blue Mountain Lake destination will be maintained, says the museum, including special and permanent exhibitions, artisans-in-residence, workshops and signature events like the Rustic Furniture Fair.
Executive Director David Kahn said the changes are necessary to stay competitive with both local and regional attractions.
“Consumer research indicates that the travelers and tourists of today have different expectations of cultural attractions,” said Kahn in a statement. “They want rich interactive experiences that immerse them in their environment and create instantly shareable and long-lasting memories.”
Also on deck is a new logo.
The museum’s iconic logo of a woodsman carrying a canoe on his back has been replaced with a more abstract triangle-shaped image, combining the letters ‘A’ and ‘X’, that the museum says “evokes the uniqueness of the institution and its setting through bold lines and striking colors.”
“Reflecting both the indoor and outdoor aspects of the institution, the logo communicates the institution’s continuous exploration into the history and beauty of life in the Adirondacks,” reads the press release.
But the redesign immediately sparked an outcry on social media, where dozens of comments poured into the museum’s Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon.
“Terrible!!!,” wrote one. “Could you make the name any longer and confusing? I love the Adirondack Museum and the old logo of the man carrying the guide boat.”
Another said: “I am confused with the name change and why a place with such peace and beauty would succumb to the ‘expectations of cultural attractions.’”
Others compared the rebranding to an adventure park:
“How many will get this confused with Adirondack Extreme and show up to zip line?” another wrote.
Virginia Jennings, of Long Lake, wondered if the museum’s gambit to attract new visitors would pay off.
“For the museum to see if they can change any of their business by changing their name, I just don’t see it,” Jennings said. “I don’t think changing the name is going to help.”
Jennings, who worked at the facility as a teenager, said the museum should instead focus on curating new exhibits and advertising more to compete with places like the Wild Center in Tupper Lake.
“If you’re talking about history, do something historical,” Jennings said. “It just seems like they’re losing the Adirondack image that we’re accustomed to.”
‘LIFE IN THE ADIRONDACKS’
The rebranding coincides with the opening of what the museum says is “the most exciting new exhibition in the institution’s history.”
“Life in the Adirondacks” is a 19,000-square-foot interactive experience that will “combine the latest digital technology with real hands-on experiences to bring the spirit of adventure and breathtaking natural beauty of the Adirondacks to life.”
The exhibit, which will serve as a launch point for visitors, will occupy the former Roads and Rails building, and will open on July 1.
“This melding of real Adirondack artifacts with modern-day technology will set the standard for additions and upgrades at the Adirondack Experience going forward,” said the release.
The museum appeared to anticipate some of the criticism, and noted the facility has changed its name several times since forming as the Adirondacks Historical Association in 1948.
The vacation mainstay became the Adirondack Historical Association in 1955, and adopted the name Adirondack Museum before opening to the public in 1957.
“Even today, the legal name is the Adirondack Historical Association, which it will continue to be as it operates as the Adirondack Experience,” said the museum, citing other facilities that have rebranded in recent years.
Despite the outpouring of criticism, others defended the makeover.
“I’m sure you’re getting lots of negative reactions, but I for one like the change,” wrote one. “It’s good to keep fresh and I love that this museum makes efforts to actively engage in interpreting history and making learning fun and interesting, not just letting dusty things sit on shelves. I learn new things every time I’m there, which means it’s always a treat and the curators are doing their jobs very well. Can’t wait to visit this summer! Keep up the great work!”
The Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake opens for its 60th season on May 26.