After years of fundraising and a whole lot of leg work by volunteers and village officials, the steel towers for the new ski lift at Mt. Pisgah have finally arrived in Saranac Lake.
Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau joined Mt. Pisgah Manager Charlie Martin at the village-owned ski hill Wednesday morning as a massive tractor trailer rolled into the parking lot below the base lodge.
The semi was weighed down with tons of steel that will soon become towers for the mountain’s new ski lift.
“The steel for the towers is on this shipment,” Martin said. “The electronics, the motor, and all of the active devices all goes through customs because that’s designed and built in Austria. That shows up at Manhattan customs on Monday. And then all of that equipment will show up here.”
Martin expects that work will begin in less than two weeks.
“We’ll be able to start putting the towers on the foundations,” he said. “We finished the foundations Friday and they have to cure for 28 days before we can put the towers and the cable onboard. We’ll be able to put the towers on the week after next – we’ll start standing them up.”
The new lift should be up and running by Nov. 1, Martin says.
The lift costs about $374,000 – the electronics cost an additional $89,000 and a new race building at the hill’s base is valued at approximately $70,000.
Grants award by the state and thousands of dollars raised by Friends of Mt. Pisgah is paying for the project, Martin notes.
He adds that Scheefer’s Adirondack Builders is building the race building free of cost.
“Which is a heaven send for me, because they’re one of the premier builders in the area and to have them on board is just priceless,” Martin said.
In addition to the new lift and race building, Martin plans on finishing a new, 2.5-kilometer multi-use trail network on the mountain’s west side.
“That’ll be this season and I’ll start cutting in the next couple weeks,” he said.
Natalie LeDuc has helped lead the charge in raising funds for the new lift. She’s skied at Pisgah for much of her life, coached youngsters there, and watched numerous Olympians – including her brother – get their start on the tiny, but popular, ski hill.
She was trimming hedges around the base lodge when the new steel arrived this week.
“It’s amazing, just amazing,” LeDuc said. “I was here when the last lift came in, so it’s really been something to see. I’m very, very proud and very pleased.”