Schroon’s Paradox Brewery has moved one-step closer to being one of the anchor businesses at the new redevelopment of the Old Frontier Town property.
On Wednesday, brewery founders Paul and Joan Mrocka received news that their $2.2 million New York Business development loan had been approved for their new Brewery in North Hudson.
The new Brewery expansion is one of the largest projects to be built in Essex County, with a current budget of $5.2 million.
The loan was ratified by the Federal Government’s Small Business Administration. When the new brewery is up and running, 22 new full time jobs will be created.
“We are beyond excited,” Paul Mrocka told Schroon Laker today. ‘”We have worked closely with New York state on all levels, from The Governor’s office to Ron Moore, the town manager of North Hudson. Everyone has been super supportive”.
Paradox Brewery has already laid claim to a 14 acre parcel on the Frontier Town property and are awaiting the removal of several buildings -- including the old motel on Route 9 -- before ground breaking for the new brewery building can take place.
Besides the new brewery, there are plans for a campground near the Schroon River, an equestrian center, and trail riding area.
There will also be an Event Center with tourist accommodations and facilities for hosting shows and festivals, as well as areas designated for commercial business development, including providers of food, lodging and amenities for visitors and businesses which can grow along the Northway corridor.
The next steps for Paradox include finalizing bank financing for the project. “We have raised a large amount of capital from our current investors,” Paul said.
“With the approval of our SBD loan, and our investors who have contributed more than $1 million, we are well on our way”.
Paul said he is shooting for a ground breaking ceremony this fall. “Our hope is to at least get the foundation poured before the winter.”
“Paradox has been looking for a long time to expand our operations. We truly believe this opportunity in North Hudson is the exact, perfect fit. With the support of the Governor and Empire State Development, Ron Moore, the town manager of North Hudson, we can bring the excitement of craft brewing to another Essex County town.
“Our new location is at the foot of a trail head and is a perfect fit our Adirondack theme. The mountain views from where our brewery will sit offers amazing views of the High Peaks and will complement our visitors experience as they enjoy pure Adirondack Craft Beer.”
Paradox Brewery is the first business to be publicly named as part of a $32 Million Private-Public Investment project announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in January.
Cuomo’s plan is to create a recreational base camp and tourism hub on the grounds of the old Wild West town. He wants the area to be “a gateway” to the Adirondack’s High Peaks and beyond, starting at Exit 29.
The State has promised to work with public and private partners to secure an estimated $32 million to create the world-class tourism destination at the site.
“The Gateway to the Adirondacks will be a world-class tourism hub at a strategic location to attract new visitors to the Adirondack Park and drive economic growth in the North Country,” Governor Cuomo said in January.
“The Master Plan, developed with key community partners, builds on our comprehensive efforts to protect the Adirondack Park while attracting tourists to experience the wide array of outstanding recreation options this region has to offer.”
The Gateway site sits on a mix of Essex County and town of North Hudson property totaling about 300 acres, and includes almost a mile and a half on the picturesque Schroon River.
The Master Plan for the Gateway to the Adirondacks includes:
· A DEC campground and day use area along the Schroon River.
· Equestrian camping and trail riding area.
· Visitor Information Center to introduce visitors to the world class recreation destinations in the Adirondack Park.
· Event center with tourist accommodations.
· Interactive exhibits in historic structures highlighting the past, present, and future of the Adirondack forest products and local food industries.
The Master Plan, developed with key community partners, builds on Cuomo’s comprehensive plan to protect the Adirondack Park while attracting tourists to experience the wide array of recreation options our region has to offer.
Background from the Cuomo’s office:
“Exit 29 of the Northway is at the confluence of the Blue Ridge Highway and Route 9. The Blue Ridge Highway is an all-season road that travels through thousands of acres of Adirondack Forest Preserve and conservation easement lands, including the recently acquired Boreas Ponds property. This route also provides quick and easy access to the towns of Newcomb, Minerva, Long Lake, and Indian Lake. Route 9 links North Hudson to Schroon Lake, and the Route 9 State Bike Route will be part of the proposed Empire State Trail, creating the largest state multi-use trail in the nation.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “The State’s visionary plan for the Gateway is building on Governor Cuomo’s tireless efforts to conserve the beauty and wildness of the Park while increasing economic opportunities for area residents and businesses. The new Gateway at Exit 29 is easily accessible and within minutes of thousands of miles of recreation trails on public lands and conservation easements open for biking, hiking, skiing, and snowmobiling, which connect communities throughout the Park. DEC is grateful to the Open Space Institute for providing the resources necessary to bring everyone together to create the Master Plan.”
ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, our efforts to revitalize the economy across Upstate New York have never been stronger. The Gateway to the Adirondacks will continue to advance our economic mission and bolster the tourism and the craft beverage industries by bringing visitors and jobs to the North Country.”
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "The Gateway to the Adirondacks project is a great example of New York State's commitment and innovative efforts to grow its craft beverage industry. The plan for Paradox Brewery to expand its business at the Gateway will not only help support local agriculture but also boost agritourism and attract more visitors to the Adirondacks."
Senator Betty Little said, “I’ve driven past the former Frontier Town more times than I care to remember, but each time thinking and hoping for something that would once again attract visitors. So, to say the least, I am so happy to see this collaboration of state and local governments and the private sector to create a new destination at this ideal location that will undoubtedly boost tourism throughout the region. I have been pleased to work with Governor Cuomo and his administration to grow our tourism industry. The investments made have always paid off well, bringing in more visitors and more revenue for businesses. We have so much to offer, no place compares to the Adirondacks, and this Gateway will be the perfect showcase.”
Assemblyman Dan Stec said, “This exciting project has the potential to draw thousands of visitors to North Hudson to connect to the amazing recreation opportunities in this area of the Park. This coupled with the jobs created through commercial business development will revitalize communities in this region.”
The state and its municipal and private partners will continue efforts to develop the site, focusing initially on developing the equestrian, camping, and associated parking and trail facilities.
The deadline for new businesses to submit their plans is September 15.
The area under development excludes the A-Frame at the front of the property, purchased in 2014 by local George Moore (no relation to the North Hudson Town Supervisor) in a 2014 county tax sale.
But the Board of Supervisors, at Supervisor Moore’s request, canceled the bid and retained the property. A State Supreme Court lawsuit by buyer George Moore was unsuccessful at overturning the nullification.
The County Board of Supervisors had awarded the property to the Town of North Hudson for $60,000, plus one-third of the sale price if the property were to be resold within five years. But North Hudson residents voted in a referendum to reject the acquisition. George Moore has since passed away.