NORTH CREEK - A crowd gathered at Ski Bowl Park in North Creek as a ribbon was cut to mark the opening of the Hudson chairlift and introduced the completed interconnect between Gore Mountain and the historic Ski Bowl last Saturday, Jan. 26.
The redeveloped terrain on Little Gore Mountain, which now features snowmaking and trails for all ability levels, is now open for skiers and snowboarders, which provides access to the rest of Gore Mountain's multi-peak trail system.
Local and state officials gathered to commemorate the historic significance of the connection between Gore, the Ski Bowl and village of North Creek.
"This is where skiing began in the Adirondacks," said Sen. Elizabeth Little, R-Queensbury. "This is an incredible moment on an incredible day."
The new trails follow the profile of the same terrain North Creek's earliest skiers traveled. The Hudson chair lifeline was once home to a 1946 t-bar.
When Little asked the surrounding crowd to raise a hand if they had skied the original Little Gore, the majority of hands shot into the air.
"This is a historic preservation project," said ORDA chairman Joe Martens. "The Town of Johnsburg pushed very hard for this project and made clear just how important this was to the town."
Little also praised the interconnect as a means to support the economic development of the village of North Creek.
"What this will do for the hamlet of North Creek will involve them in the whole ski experience," she said. "We will be a destination. It goes to show that persistence pays off."
As Emily Stanton, Gore Mountain marketing director, welcomed the many skiers and riders who waited to be the first to try the new lift she commended the Hudson chairlift as, "the starting point of an elevation of 3600 feet and a new starting point for the region."
"It is the people of Gore that make this special," she said. "I wish I had a bottle of champagne right now."
Skiers and snowboarders can now park at the Ski Bowl and have access to all of Gore Mountain. The connection brings Gore the title of being the sixth largest ski resort in the east and is a result of years of planning, beginning with the formative ideas of past Johnsburg supervisor Bill Thomas.
Current supervisor, Sterling Goodspeed, remembers when people didn't know there was a village at the base of Gore Mountain.
"The world just found our village at the base of the mountain," he said.