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Snow Lover’s Trivia: Interview with Gore Mountain GM Mike Pratt

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Every year seems to bring new developments at Gore Mountain Ski Area, NY. In fact, if you haven’t been there over the past ten years, you might not recognize it.

Eldred - “I heard that you are from Lake Placid. Have you always been in the Adirondacks?”

Mike Pratt - “Yes! Born and raised in the Adirondacks. After college I spent a couple of years in the Rockies, moved back to the Adirondacks in the mid 80’s. I have worked at Gore since 1986.”

Eldred - “What is your position at Gore?”

Mike Pratt - “I am the General Manager and have been at that position since 1996.”

Eldred - “What Gore improvements would you like our readers to know about?”

Mike Pratt - “Historically, Gore Mountain was 4 sides of 2 mountains. Now the area covers 9 sides of 4 mountains. We have balanced the expansion and included redevelopment of the North Creek Ski Bowl very nicely while modernizing the traditional historic area.”

Eldred - “Have you seen more folks coming from outside the region to stay for the weekend or a week?”

Mike Pratt - “Absolutely. In the early 90’s our marketing radius was within 2 to 2 hours. That has increased to a 6 hour radius. More vacationers now come from Ontario, Toronto, Buffalo, the Philadelphia area, New Jersey, and Long Island. All roads lead to Gore!” ”

Eldred - “I myself have been amazed by how Gore has developed.”

Mike Pratt - “What is nice about Gore is that there are so many natural resources to take advantage of. We have the Hudson River. There are 9 sides of Gore Mountain that make up our great terrain. I-87 and NY Rte 8 practically come right up our driveway. There are lots of people in the Gore area that help make the mountain special.”

Eldred - “How about the Gore glades?”

Mike Pratt - “They are great! What’s nice about our glades is that we have them at so many different elevations and areas on the mountain. You can ski through northern hardwood, spruce, or birch wood forests.”

Eldred - “Do you have any thoughts on the ski Industry?”

Mike Pratt - “There is a lot of effort to make skiing easier and more attractive for new participants.”

“At Gore we have the Northwoods Lodge. It makes it easier for beginners to walk through the lodge, get lessons and rentals, and work their way out to their lessons at the Base Area.

Gore instructors do a super job with kids, starting them on the magic carpet and working them towards the Northwoods Gondola. Off the gondola we have the green rated trail Ruby Run connecting with Sunway. It takes beginners all the way back to the Base Area, almost 2 miles of skiing. Everyone loves it!”

Eldred - “What is on the horizon for Gore?”

Mike Pratt - “We are working on expanding our summer operation and activities. We continue to make improvements to the lodges and tweak the snowmaking. One of things for the future is a summit warming lodge. Plans are in place for remodeling the original gondola’s unloading building. It has great architecture, all southern yellow pine.”

“The 2013-2014 season will be a big anniversary, the 80th of the first snow train to Gore from Schenectady, NY.”

“Gore has won three environmental awards including one for our educational efforts. We love telling historic stories about the area. In 1999, when we started our Bear Mountain Expansion and the Gondola Replacement Project, we began naming our trails after great Adirondack camps, like Sagamore (Burnt Ridge Mountain). In each gondola cabin we tell different stories, regional stories about geology or ecology, recently stories have been about Adirondack pioneers. Our heritage is important to us.”

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