NORTH CREEK - Before having a chance to see one winter tourism season, the sign placed on Route 28 in North Creek opposite Peaceful Valley Road to drive visitors from Gore Mountain into the village of North Creek was vandalized last week.
"It's sad to see all of our efforts ruined," said Laurie Arnheiter, owner of Hudson River Trading Company and North Creek Business Alliance member.
The sign was part of a campaign spearheaded by a sub-committee of the North Creek Business Alliance to use bed tax money to line the streets entering the village with a colorful marketing effort. Such marketing campaigns are part of an ongoing goal of bringing visitors and tourists to experience downtown North Creek and showcase local recreational opportunities.
"We have been asking the question, how do we get them to come, for a long time," said Arnheiter.
The committee thought they had answered part of that question until pieces of the sign by Garnett Signs were ripped off their base. The Warren County Sheriff's Department evaluated the damage and reported the act was indeed deliberate.
No police report as been released and no charges have been filed at this time.
According to the town of Johnsburg, after bed tax dollars are spent, the property is no longer covered under town insurance and the vandalism will therefore not be repaired by an insurance claim. The sign it it's entirety cost $600.
Arnheiter feels the vandalism was intentional and senses underlaying hostility towards North Creek from the surrounding communities within the town of Johnsburg. The business district receives a lot of the tourism attention drawn in by Gore Mountain, possibly leaving others in the various other hamlets of Johnsburg feeling they are missing out, she said.
"The efforts to drive people to North Creek were working and that brings money and exposure to the entire town of Johnsburg," she said. "It just doesn't make sense that someone would want to ruin that when it helps everyone."
The NCBA and committee are exploring how to replace the sign and hope to have something in place before the start of the winter ski season at Gore Mountain.