Undated – Probably 1942 – re: ski trails on Whiteface Mtn.

  • Undated – probably 1942 –

The proposed expenditure for ski trails on Whiteface Mountain during this national emergency is not only untimely but very questionable for several reasons. During his appeal for favorable action on Amendment No. 4 just prior to the last election, Commissioner Osborne said, “As for expense, that is for the legislature to decide. No expenditure is being authorized when you vote Yes.” That was only a month ago. Now it is reported that $280,000 will be asked for these trails which is only the beginning of a very ambitious plan to popularize the million dollar Whiteface pleasure road, the bonds of which have not yet been sold and the revenue has fallen off from $66,030 I 1937 to $59,547 in 1940. The payroll has risen 85% in the last five years from $7,126 to $13,169 in 1940. Well informed persons are confident that the administration of the ski trails will be even more expensive and the final results will be more good dollars spent to recover hopeless and dollars for unnecessary developments. Keeping such a windswept snow packed road open will be both difficult and very expensive. Furthermore, there are now 250 miles of ski trails in that neighborhood not fully used and this mountain is about twice the distance from centers of population as competing trails in other states. There is, therefore, little hope that the proposed trails can ever be self-liquidating. A $125,000 bob0sled run built in the same neighborhood with taxpayer’s money has been running at a yearly deficit for several years, indicating what might be expected if even a larger sum is spent for ski trails in this remote spot. Since the quickest route will be by bus from the railroad on the Lake Champlain side. Competition will be largely local with the Lake Placid group located thirteen miles further west than the new ski center to be built at Wilmington, the closest town to the trail. This would give little promise of any economical success to the taxpayers. The vote against the Whiteface Ski Trail Amendment was overwhelming throughout the state with the exception of the metropolitan district and it cannot, therefore, be said that the proposal is by the will of the people but rather by the will of a few promoters in New York City and Lake Placid. The legislature should therefore be asked to consider these facts and the present stringent condition of our taxpayers and refuse money at this time for such unnecessary purposes.