Visitors will find Gore Mountain tucked away in the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York, located in the village of North Creek (population 4,000) in between Lake George and Lake Placid. It’s known as one of the state’s premier family ski resorts, and it’s easy to see why. The resort has provided service to winter sports enthusiasts for over 75 years. Today, it continues to innovate and grow, so that folks keep coming back for “More Gore.”
Since the mid 1990s, there has been a lot of expansion and modernization at Gore Mountain. The resort’s latest project involves the redevelopment of the last of nine mountain sides and the replacement of a 1946 T-bar with a triple chair lift. “This will open up some old 1940s trails and establish a new one,” says general manager, Mike Pratt, “to give us seamless, two-way traffic across four mountains.”
While developing new trails and employing cutting-edge technology for expanded lift services and snow-making equipment, Gore Mountain also remains ecologically conscious. It has won four international environmental awards (the Silver Eagles) in three disciplines, including one for its efforts in environmental education, and the resort has turned every gondola cabin into interpretive centers that tell the story of the region’s heritage, ecology, and geology. It’s this type of innovation that helps make the guest experience more memorable.
The location of Gore Mountain also plays a big part in the resort’s theme. “There is a lot of history in this area,” says Mike. “We themed our trail names out of the great camps of the Adirondacks. The architecture style is also themed with vernacular out of the great camps, which is typically heavy timber. We do a lot of log siding, log buildings, and big overhangs. This has allowed us to maintain a feeling that blends well with the Adirondacks and nature.”
While Gore Mountain caters to families, diehard adrenaline junkies can take heart since the diversity of the mountains surrounding the resort offers long cruising trails, long intermediate terrain, as well as isolated expert and beginner areas. This variety makes it friendly and comfortable for both skiers and cruisers. “Being developed on nine sides of four mountains, our terrain satisfies all levels of skiers and riders,” says Mike. “We have three different terrain parks and glades at six different elevations across the mountain, so there’s always a great spot to find the right amount of snow.” Gore Mountain also has one eight-passenger gondola which accesses a green-rated trail that goes all the way down to the bottom. It’s about two-and-a-half miles of green-rated skiing.
Right now there’s a lot to look forward to at Gore Mountain and its surroundings. “We’re on a tremendous growth curve, and it’s really exciting,” says Mike. “The village is going through a renaissance and growth period, and we are certainly the catalyst. A lot of the historic buildings are getting rehabilitated and opening up, and the region is changing from a two-season area to four-season one. We have rafting in the upper Hudson Gorge, and there are a lot of waterways in the Adirondacks for people to recreate onin the summertime.” Fall foliage and mountain biking are a big draw, too.
Mike attributes the growth curve, which has taken place over the past five or ten years, to the resort securing a reliable snow-making water source. This has allowed Gore Mountain to have a product that competes directly with any resort in the Northeast, and there’s proof in it: 65% of guests come from outside the region from places such as eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Metro New York, Lower Hudson Valley and Long Island and 35% spread out from Albany, Saratoga Springs, Glen Falls, Central and Western New York, and Ontario.
Since Gore Mountain is located within Adirondack Park, a state park that just happens to be the largest in the country, the resort’s lands are designated as intensive use for daily activities. This means there are no overnight stays at Gore Mountain. But the resort has established numerous partnerships with local tourist boards, properties, and businesses throughout the three counties, which includes bed and breakfasts as well as four-diamond resorts. Many properties provide shuttle service to Gore Mountain, and there’s a free regional shuttle on weekends and holidays.
These partnerships help promote what the region has to offer. They are integral to the resort’s success, and vice versa. For example, North Creek is a mining town and the home of an old train station community. Many visitors often enjoy a scenic ride along the Hudson, and after the rails they head to the trails.
Gore Mountain itself features restaurants, bars, lodges, and a variety of activities, including tubing. It also offers services such as massages for those weary souls who need pampering after a long day on the slopes. Information on vacation planning, lodging, packages, snowmobiling, and other regional activities are available on the resort’s website. It’s a great resource for anyone planning a visit to the area, and it helps fulfill Gore Mountain’s mission of excellent customer service.
As a cornerstone of Gore Mountain, the resort also achieves this endeavor with the help of a staff totaling over 500 people during the peak season in winter; around 100 are onsite in the summer. Many of these workers are part of a core staff that lives in the region, and fortunately for Gore Mountain, they return year after year. Mike says that for everyone at the resort motivation comes easy. “People understand that we’re in a service industry, so we are all very focused during guest service training in our annual refresher courses and in our daily and weekly messages.”
With weather conditions as they have been, Gore Mountain has been able to duplicate a big skiing experience with views that often remind people of out west. “You can stand on one mountain top here and look at the trails of all the others,” says Mike. “We’re a success story, a big resort with a good story to tell.”