SARANAC LAKE — A new lodge for Dewey Mountain is close to fully funded.
Two local families recently pledged $75,000 each, a total of $150,000 in matching funds.
That brings the gift total raised so far to $275,000 — about 80 percent of what is needed to make a new lodge a reality.
In partnership with Saranac Lake Rotary Foundation, Dewey Mountain Friends is closing in on the $350,000 total cost of construction.
“We are nearing the finish line,” Dewey Mountain Friends Chairman Chris Morris said in a statement.
“These gifts — combined with the generosity of 550 households, businesses and foundations that have made donations over the past few years — give us real hope of breaking ground on the new base lodge this spring.”
The current base facilities will be condemned after this winter, according to the Town of Harrietstown website.
“The aging structures would be demolished and replaced with a garage and lodge that will allow larger events, expanded use and all-season activities,” Morris said.
OLYMPIANS LEARNED HERE
The recreation center, set amid 22 kilometers of ski, snowshoe, mountain biking and hiking trails, holds a special place for local Olympians.
Biathlon skiers Tim Burke and Annelies Cook and Nordic-combined gold medalist Billy Demong all learned to ski here. All three are representing Team USA in the Winter Olympic Games now in Sochi.
All ages have pitched in to help with the ongoing push to rebuild Dewey’s lodge.
“Donations so far range in size from $75,000 to $1.19, the latter contributed by 6-year-old skier and mountain-biker Mason Stoddard, who literally emptied his piggy bank,” Morris said of the project’s wide support base.
But the community has outgrown the site, with increased use of the trails nearly year-round by school and youth groups, ski racers and visitors.
The Dewey Mountain trails and the lodge, managed by Adirondack Lakes & Trails Outfitters, are owned by the Town of Harrietstown.