Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the 26th proposal of his 2020 State of the State address - a $14 million project to build a new Mid-Station Lodge at Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort replacing the structure that was destroyed by fire on November 30, 2019. The Olympic Regional Development Authority will begin constructing the new lodge this spring.
"As the North Country and New York State continue to set historic tourism records, Whiteface Mountain and the Olympic Regional Development Authority are leading the way," Governor Cuomo said. "Rebuilding the Mid-Station Lodge that was destroyed by fire will ensure that the resort continues to deliver a world-class experience as one of the most successful destinations in the ski industry."
The 10,000 sq. ft. lodge will be a mid-mountain respite for skiers and riders seeking a great resort experience. It will offer food and beverage service, have a large dining area, multiple seating spaces and full restroom amenities. An expansive viewing deck offering some of the most spectacular vistas of the High Peaks, at 2,100 ft. of elevation, will wrap around the building. The majority of skiers will be able to access the lodge from the mountain's upper trails.
Several of the new lodge's amenities will be ready for use during the next ski season in November of 2020. A second phase of construction will complete the mid-station lodge project by October 2021.
Initial renderings of the new lodge show an architectural style reminiscent of an Adirondack great-lodge featuring long sloping roof lines, sweeping decks and a massive interior with vaulted ceilings. It will be accented by many natural elements such as Adirondack timber and custom stonework. Large insulated windows will allow for maximum light while framing picturesque views of the resort. The previous lodge serviced approximately 300,000 -400,000 visits per season and with the new design, the revenue and visitation are expected to further increase.
Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York has made unprecedented investments in the tourism industry, resulting in historic levels of visitors and direct spending throughout the state. In the North Country, tourism supports over 21,000 jobs. Last year, 12.6 million people visited the region, generating more than $182 million in State and local taxes, and generating nearly $1.5 billion in direct visitor spending - representing a 30% increase in visitor spending in the North Country since Governor Cuomo took office.
The Governor has committed nearly $240 million in funding to support the state's Olympic Regional Development Authority properties since taking office. These unprecedented investments are improving the infrastructure of ORDA facilities to ensure they attract and support large-scale, global events as year-round attractions.
Last year, New York welcomed a record 252.7 million visitors who spent $71.8 billion, generating a total economic impact of more than $100 billion for the fifth straight year. Tourism remains the state's third largest employer, supporting 957,800 jobs annually.