APA: Macchio’s zip line application still incomplete

RAY BROOK – The state Adirondack Park Agency is still waiting for more information before it can begin its formal review of a zip line proposed by the father of “Karate Kid” actor Ralph Macchio.

APA Regulatory Programs Director Rick Weber said Thursday that the agency had issued a second “Notice of Incomplete Permit Application” on the proposed Bear Pond Zip-Flyer.

Plans submitted to the agency last year call for a 3,500-foot-long zip line ride that would run from French Mountain to Ralph Macchio Sr.’s Wild West Ranch & Western Town in Lake George.

Macchio’s project would include construction of a launch platform, a pair of 34-foot towers, a landing area and four cables connecting the towers. It also involves clearing a swath of trees at the top of the mountain to provide enough clearance for people riding the zip line.

Riders would be driven to the launch platform on an existing road. Wearing a harness that’s hooked to the cables, riders would zip across the treetops at a fast speed, being pulled down to the base of the mountain by gravity. The ride would have a vertical drop of about 700 feet.

Weber said the incomplete notice was sent due to “issues related to visual impact assessment.” However, he said the review has been moving along quickly, and he believes the project could come before the board for approval in August or September.

“I think this review has been proceeding on a fairly straightforward basis with the applicant,” Weber said. “This will be a second NIPA, which is not unusual for a project of this scale. It’s a significant project for its potential visibility, and there have been very good responses to our questions.”

Macchio had hoped to start construction this spring so the attraction could be open by the summer. In addition to the zip line, the $1.5 million project also involves construction of an outdoor amphitheater, retail shops and additional parking.

It would not be the first commercial zip line in the Adirondack Park. Whitewater Challengers in North River and Adirondack Extreme in Bolton offer smaller ones. (Editor’s note: The previous sentence has been clarified.)