Mount Pisgah among ROOST awards winners

LAKE PLACID – Saranac?Lake’s Mount Pisgah Ski Center won the 2012 Destination Award at the annual meeting of the Lake Placid Convention and Visitors Bureau, otherwise known as the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism annual meeting last week at the Comfort Inn.

The 2012 Destination Product Award was presented to the Mount Pisgah Enhancement Project, a public-private partnership working to modernize facilities and increase the use of Mount Pisgah, which is run by the villlage of Saranac Lake. The project included the installation of a new, $800,000 T-bar lift, construction of a new race building, the addition of a paved, accessible nature trail around a pond and the building of several kilometers of trails for hiking, cross-country skiing and mountain biking.

“This project is a true public/private partnership, involving multiple parties who contribute in-kind services, funding, and expertise,” said Justin Smith, chair of the LPCVB/ROOST board of directors. “The multi-use and multi-seasonal nature of the project makes it a valuable part of the area’s infrastructure for both residents and for visiting families.”

The Destination Product Award is given to a group or individual who has, through capital investment or public coordination, moved forward with a project (or projects) that positively affect the tourism-related infrastructure in Essex County.

“Saranac Lake gratefully accepts this recognition and salutes the volunteer organizations that helped earn it, namely, the Friends of Mt. Pisgah, and BETA, the Barkeater Trails Alliance,” village Mayor Clyde Rabideau said in a press release. “Both groups provided volunteers and worked tirelessly to maximize the potential of our village’s great skiing and hiking area.”

Rabideau also recognized former Pisgah manager Matt Cook and Demong Designs, which designed the new cross-country ski trails at the mountain, for their work on the project. A local BOCES class also chipped in under the direction of Christian Whissler, using Mount Pisgah as a classroom.

The village recognized those involved with the project at its board meeting Monday night.

Other awards presented at the ROOST meeting last week include the Tourism Marketing Award, which is given to a group or individual who has produced or launched an innovative tourism marketing product or initiative. This year’s recipient was the Champlain Area Trails, or CATS, for the successful implementation of a writing contest series as an innovative marketing approach.

The recipient of the 2012 Tourism Advocate Award was Moriah Economic Development Group, or the Moriah EDGe, a coalition of partners working on economic development strategies. To date, they have organized community-wide beautification efforts and created a series of events that include MoriahStock, a day-long music event.

“As the Destination Marketing Organization for Essex County, we are pleased to showcase the people and organizations who have made the greatest contributions toward achieving a sustainable tourism economy for our region,” Smith said during the event. “I’m honored to celebrate the efforts of our industry’s best.”