Kreig said international flights are part of the long-term plan for the airport, and this is an important first step in that process.
Langley said it will also help in marketing for expanded service at the airport.
“The chamber can’t market international flights without having this in place,” he said.
The county will have to fund its operation for the first two years, then the federal government will take over.
‘EPOCH OF PROGRESS’
The funding announced Wednesday also includes $5 million for revitalization of the Hotel Saranac and $2 million for construction of a new resort and waterfront restaurant at the site of the former Lake Flower Hotel, which is expected to leverage private investment to diversify the region’s tourism/recreation-based communities.
Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau was in Albany for the announcement and welcomed the funding.
“We are thrilled and thankful for these awards, and now an epoch of progress and prosperity is at hand for Saranac Lake, ‘The Capital of the Adirondacks,’” he said by email.
“Combined, these two hotel resorts will solidify Saranac Lake’s place in the top tier of Adirondack destinations and position our village for sustainable success because their whole, together, is far greater than each standing alone.”
‘LIKE WINNING TWICE’
The funding includes $250,000 to support Phase 2 of the Wild Walk at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, which comprises construction of activities and permanent outdoor exhibits. Phase 1 had already been awarded $1 million in the second round of awards.
Wild Center Executive Director Stephanie Ratcliffe was also in Albany for Cuomo’s presentation. She said it is an honor to be chosen by the council members as one of the North Country’s priority projects.
“We are thrilled that our colleagues see us as one of those,” she said.
Ratclliffe said the entire North Country delegation was ecstatic to once again be chosen as a Top Performer.