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For Immediate Release: August 09, 2011

Contact:
Keith P. McKeever | keith.mckeever@apa.ny.gov 
Public Relations | Adirondack Park Agency | Press Office | (518) 891-4050



APA HIGHLIGHTS ENTREPRENEURIAL EFFORTS. PRESENTATIONS EMPHASIZE IMPORTANCE OF SMALL BUSINESSES TO REGION

RAY BROOK, NY - The Adirondack Park Agency has undertaken a public awareness initiative to inform the general public about successful entrepreneurs that are building businesses, expanding economic opportunities and strengthening communities inside the Adirondack Park. Topics of interest include broadband development, energy conservation, green tourism, and agricultural practices. The Agency's video presentations are available to the newly formed Regional Economic Councils to assist in the development of strategic plans.

In 2011, the Agency's Economic Affair's Committee showcased successful business ventures during its monthly meeting. The presentations were webcast live and are archived on the Agency's Business and Economy website page. The Agency believes these local success stories will help identify the unique assets and the challenges facing economic development efforts inside the Adirondack Park.

APA Executive Director Terry Martino said, "The economy of the Adirondack Park reflects the many challenges that face rural areas of New York State and our Nation. We are fortunate that tourism is a strong sector of the Park's business community but we must work to diversify the regional economy. This year the Agency was privileged to learn first hand from some of the Park's most talented and dedicated citizens on how they have succeeded in implementing critical infrastructure and building successful businesses inside the Park. Their efforts should be applauded and emulated."

Keene, New York Town-Wide Broadband Internet Project

In January, Dave Mason and Jim Herman, co-directors of the "Keene New York Town-Wide Broadband Internet Project," discussed the successful grassroots effort to implement high-speed internet service in the Town of Keene. The project concept originated from a strategic planning effort for the Keene Central School which concluded that broadband development was critical to the future quality of education, student preparedness and sustaining school enrollment.

The project was completed in four years and involved major improvements including implementation of a new fiber-to-the-home technology. These upgrades increased performance and expanded service to over 900 of the 1,000 homes and businesses in town. All Keene Central School students, teachers and staff have internet access as a result of this project. In addition, the total number of broadband internet subscriptions increased by 126% since 2006 helping sustain the local internet service provider.

The project created opportunities for remote network-based employment which attracted new families to the community who rely on the internet for their livelihood. The Keene New York Town-Wide Broadband Internet Project is a successful model for other Adirondack communities. Its overwhelming success was attributed to strong commitment from the permanent and seasonal town residents, dedicated leadership, a focus on connecting the school and the partnership provided by the locally owned business, Keene Valley Video and Internet, Inc.

The Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort - Green Hotel Management

In recognition that the Adirondack Park is an important travel destination, Jenn Holderied-Webb, proprietress of The Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort in Lake Placid, decided in 2005 to establish the resort as an eco-friendly, green business. Ms. Webb and the resort management team, committed to a business philosophy to provide a quality guest experience in a prime location while balancing profitability with environmental impact. The Golden Arrow implemented a comprehensive program based on Audubon International's Green Leaf Hotels Program to achieve this goal. In 2011 the resort has successfully reached the highest rank of 5-leaf status and is the only resort in New York State to attain this level of environmental commitment.

The hotel uses energy efficient building materials and techniques including low flow toilets, shower heads and a sheet/towel reuse program. The lobby area was renovated and the pool heating system was upgraded with thermal solar covers. Heat recovery systems were installed in all hot water systems throughout the resort. The resort's private white sand beach was replaced with crushed limestone, which helps combat the effects of acid rain on Mirror Lake.

A 3,400 square foot "green roof" covers the resort in native plants and herbs. The "green roof" increases roof life and acts as a storm water management system as well as an insulator. Herbs grown on the roof are used in the resort's restaurant which also works very hard to source as much locally grown food as possible.

The Golden Arrow is involved with the New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association in an effort to form a NYS Green Tourism Council to serve as a resource for tourism businesses in the state who want to "go green." In addition, the resort participates in events such as E-Sweep, Kids Earth Day celebration, Village Clean-up Day and Adirondack Harvest. The Golden Arrow Resort is a unique destination for travelers interested in lodging that adheres to sustainable tourism practices. They have demonstrated that green travel and tourism produces economic benefits.

Essex Farm - Sustainable Agriculture & Community Markets

Located in the Town of Essex, Essex Farm is one of a growing number of farm operations that take advantage of the protected open space inside the Park to engage in agriculture activities. Mark and Kristin Kimball have operated Essex Farms for seven years. Their business model is a year-round, draft horse-powered Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm, or membership farm. Members pay a flat yearly rate for a full- range of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and grass fed meats.

The Kimball's are committed to growing food for local people. Their membership has increased from seven people in the first year to more than 150 members this season. The majority of members are within 45 minutes of the farm but a small percentage travel greater distances. On average, member purchase 60-70% of their calories from the farm.

Essex Farm is a 500 acre farm of which the Kimball's own 80 acres and lease the remaining 420 acres. They anticipate their gross income for 2011 will be upwards of $400,000.00. Staffing increased over the years as the farm's popularity continues to rise. Initially the farm employed two farm workers but today that number has increased to six full time employees and several part timers. The Kimball's noted that their first employees moved on to start their own successful CSA.

As the demand for locally grown food increases, the Adirondack Park is uniquely situated to respond to this consumer trend. The Adirondack Park's density based land use plan has helped prevent the subdivision of prime agriculture lands as experienced in other regions of the Country. The Adirondack Park Land Use and Development Plan factored in prime agricultural soils when the private lands of the Park were classified. This resulted in the retention of large tracts of highly productive agricultural lands. Mark Kimball stated that the soil quality attracted him to the region. The Kimball's noted in their presentation that connecting young farmers to workable farms was critical to keep the momentum growing for a strong agricultural economy.

For more information on these businesses please visit the Adirondack Park Agency's website. The presentations are available from the Agencys Business/Economy Page. Please use the following link - http://www.apa.state.ny.us/Economy/index.html

The next video presentations in this ongoing series will be the Clarkson University Small Business Program, Aquatic Invasive Management, LLC and The Adirondack North Country's Bike the Bikeways initiative.

The mission of the Adirondack Park Agency is to protect the public and private resources of the Adirondack Park through the exercise of the powers and duties of the Agency as provided by law. For more information, call the APA at (518) 891-4050 or visit www.apa.state.ny.us.

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