LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As another summer in the village of Lake George draws to a close, the business owners who call the lake home and keep it busy are committing anew to protecting the lake for many summers to come.
Over 50 Lake George businesses came together this week to sign a new compact, spearheaded by the Lake George Association (LGA), detailing the numbers behind economic success in the region around the lake, and contrasting it to the role water quality plays in driving tourism.
And according to Kathy Flacke Muncil, CEO of the Fort William Henry Corporation and chair of the LGA’s Council of Business Advisors, the “Business Compact on the Economic Imperative of Protecting Lake George” is just the beginning of a larger plan to take care of the lake.
“If Lake George were to lose its water quality, the economic impacts to our region would be unfathomable,” Muncil said in Thursday’s announcement. “Loss of businesses and jobs. Loss of tax revenue. Loss of property values. We simply cannot and will not stand by and let that happen.”
The commitment includes pledges by the over 50 businesses to advocate for priority action against harmful algal blooms; support scientific lake research and monitoring, as well as scientific programs and policies to guard the lake against toxic growth; and evaluate how their own businesses may impact the lake.
It’s one thing to say that a cleaner lake attracts more people, but another to prove it. The commitment uses specific studies and data to examine the exact relationship between Lake George’s water quality and its tourism industry.
That data includes a 2020 study conducted by the Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional Planning Board, which shows around $2 billion in annual economic activity in the region.
That active supports over 500 businesses in the tourism sector alone, up the length of Lake George and the surrounding area, and generates nearly $630 million in direct tourism spending within the area.
To contrast, other data looks at what happens when things get murky. In Lake George, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute research in Bolton Landing has tracked declining water quality levels.
The compact cites data that shows exactly what that change can do.
Research data from Lake Champlain is cited that tracks a three-foot loss in water clarity, as well as a simultaneous $12.6 million dip in the amount of summer tourism spending and 37% drop in seasonal home values.
The commitment to keep Lake George from seeing similar change comes as danger rounds the corner. It’s been less than a full year since Lake George experienced its first harmful algal bloom, a potentially toxic growth that feeds on nutrient runoff and can expand quickly in large water bodies.
The prevention of future blooms is a core tenant of the commitment.
“This demonstration of support for Lake George by our business community is inspiring and
absolutely essential for long-term water quality protection,” said LGA President Eric Siy.
“Protecting Lake George requires dedicated action by everyone with a stake in the future of
our region, and businesses are at the top of that list.”
The list of businesses to commit to the compact so far includes:
- Adirondack Pub & Brewery
- Adirondack Resorts Press, Inc.
- Adirondack Trust Co.
- Behan Communications
- Boardwalk Restaurant
- Boathouse Bed & Breakfast, Inc.
- Bolton Landing Brewing
- Bolton Landing Marina
- Candlelight Cottages, LLC
- Camp Chingachgook
- Canoe Island Lodge
- Cool Insuring Agency
- Country Inn & Suites, Lake George
- Davies & Davies Real Estate
- DELLA Auto Group
- Dunham’s Bay Marina
- Dunham’s Bay Resort
- Fort William Henry Hotel
- Fort William Henry Museum
- Freedom Boat Club
- Frosty Creations
- Glens Falls National Bank & Trust Co.
- Hague Market
- Hall’s Boat Company
- Happy Jack’s
- Hyde Collection
- I Wear Local, Inc
- Juniper Shop
- Lake George Beach Cottages
- Lake George Mirror
- Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Lake George Steamboat Company
- Lincoln Log Colony
- Lookout Bar & Grill
- Montcalm Liquors
- Mrs. Whizzy-Fizz-Popp’s
- Nemer Motor Group
- Nordick’s Inn
- Park Lane Motel
- Phinney Design
- Scotty’s Lakeside Resort
- Silver Bay YMCA
- Snug Harbor Marina
- Snug Harbor South Marina
- Sticky Buns Café
- Sutler Shop
- Tankard Tavern
- The Boathouse Restaurant
- The Candy Apple
- The Juliana Resort
- The Lodges at Cresthaven
- The Sagamore
- The Village Blacksmith
- The White Lion
- Tiki Tours
- Warren County EDC
Businesses can still sign up to be part of the commitment online.