Visitors from far and wide will be in for a treat on their next drive up the Northway. A brand new, state-of-the-art welcome center has just opened between Exits 17 and 18, providing guests with a special look at what makes the region so great! Read on to learn all about the Gateway to the Adirondacks Welcome Center.
Welcome to the Adirondacks
The Welcome Center, located on I-87 N just before Exit 18 in Queensbury, is four times larger than the site’s previous buildings and cost a total of $16.2 million to complete. Featuring amenities like interactive kiosks displaying tourism destinations, vending machines with locally made food and beverages, and even a fenced area for pets to run and play, the new building allows guests to refresh and unwind — and all while learning about the Adirondack Park.
Said Empire State Development President, CEO, and Commissioner Howard Zemsky in a statement, “The Adirondacks Welcome Center will offer an inviting taste of the food, beverages, attractions and culture that make the region a New York State treasure and a top destination for visitors who drive our thriving tourism industry.”
Other amenities and attractions include:
- Expanded parking and restroom facilities,
- Environmentally friendly additions like electric car charging stations and recyclables collection,
- An Adirondacks floor map,
- A video wall highlighting local attractions,
- A display of artifacts, antiques, and historical information,
- An I LOVE NY selfie wall, complete with a decommissioned Gore Mountain chairlift,
- An outdoor play area with a zipline,
- A boat inspection area (opening next spring),
- Free Wi-Fi and charging stations, and
- Rest areas with picnic tables and Adirondack chairs.
In addition, the Welcome Center features a beautiful Walk of Fame leading towards the building. Regional heroes like Solomon Northup, the author of Twelve Years a Slave, are honored along this pathway.
Promoting Tourism, Supporting Jobs
According to a release, more than 12.4 million people visited the Adirondacks last year: 460,000 more than in 2016. Tourism now generates more than $1.4 billion in direct visitor spending, supporting over 21,3000 jobs throughout the region.
“The Adirondacks is one of most beautiful, exciting regions in our state,” Queensbury Town Supervisor John Strough said in a statement. “This new state-of-the-art Welcome Center will be a modern gateway for both new and returning visitors, providing information relating to local attractions, places to visit and things to do.”