December 2016

I believe there are two kinds of people who live in the North Country—the people who grit their teeth and wait for spring to come and the people who embrace winter and get out and enjoy all the recreational opportunities our area has to offer.

As someone who grew up in Boston, I was one of the former. For most of my adult life, outdoor recreation was walking from the car to my office or to a restaurant. But then one winter my oldest daughter convinced me to try skiing. She was an avid fan and she soon made a convert of me.

This issue of Strictly Business focuses on the pleasures of winter recreation. Our cover story features Kim Manion, who along with her husband Dennis is the co-owner of Maui North in downtown Plattsburgh. Both Manions grew up in the North Country, traveled and worked elsewhere and then came home to build their future. When they learned Maui North was for sale, they found the opportunity they were looking for.

Pok-O-MacCready Camps and Outdoor Education Center in Essex County offer amazing opportunities for youth and adults to discover the joys of the outdoors in all seasons. Started in 1905 as a camp for boys, Pok-O-MacCready is now a destination for childhood learning as well as business retreats.

Instead of driving through the beautiful Adirondacks why not see them up close? The Algonquin Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club offers hikes and outdoor experiences for everyone from the novice to the experienced enthusiast. Learn about them in this issue.
Roberts Sport Center has been providing the vehicles necessary for outdoor fun since 1964. Whether you’re looking for a Ski- Doo, ATV, Side by Side, pontoon boat or outboard, you will find it at Roberts in Saranac. They’ll help you get out and go!

As the home of two Olympic Winter Games, Lake Placid expanded its operation to become the crown jewel of Olympic venues. Don’t miss the exciting list of 2017 events scheduled at ORDA facilities in this issue. There’s something for everyone.

Viking Ski N’ Cycle has come a long way from the founder’s garage in West Plattsburgh to its current location in front of Price Chopper on Route 3. And now the business is ready for another move as owners Dave and Barbara Collin turn the reins over to long-term employees who have begun a rebranding effort.

We thank our employment law expert, Jacqueline Kelleher, for her insightful article in this issue about the many changes facing businesses as we move into the new year. Make sure to read her article. It will help to sort out some of the confusion many of us are experiencing.

And then there is our Insight feature, Stephanie Graudons, an outdoor enthusiast like few others. Stephanie is the perfect link between Pok-O-MacCready and the Adirondack Mountain Club. Her enthusiasm is contagious. Learn about her story in our center fold.

Outdoor recreation is not just fun and games. It is an economic powerhouse in the United States, each year generating $646 billion in consumer spending and creating 6.1 million direct jobs. In New York State it creates more than $34 billion in consumer spending and 305,000 jobs. And that’s good for business.