There’s one thing we have this year that was sorely lacking the same time last year—and that’s snow. With snow on the ground now, and more snow likely on the horizon, ski season is in full swing. Which means things are looking good for Gore Mountain, especially with Alpine trail improvements and cross country trail expansion.
But there’s one other thing the mountain has going for it—and that’s Ski Bowl Village, a ski-in, ski-out community currently in the works in North Creek by FrontStreet Mountain Development. It’s the only one of its kind at Gore, and over the course of 10 phases, 154 residences—including 18 single-family homes—will be built on the 430-plus acre property. These aren’t just any homes, either—they’re luxury townhomes, carefully “carved” into the woods to give you the feeling that they’ve been there for the past 60, even 80 years. Not only that, they’re far from cookie-cutter.
“Each one of our buildings is uniquely designed, and different from the next,” says Mac Crikelair, project manager and partner. “Many times in ski developments you see the same townhouse, one after another, but each one of ours has its own impressive style.”
His family—which has had a camp on nearby Friends Lake for decades— spent many a weekend driving past the property and contemplating its fate, says Crikelair. “We thought it’s just a great piece of property, and we hope that whoever buys it keeps the Adirondack style and does the right thing by the town.” When no one else stepped up, he, alongside his father, David, and a few other partners, made it happen. Crikelair lives in Bergen County, New Jersey, but has been hitting the slopes since childhood. “My siblings and I grew up skiing out of Gore Mountain, racing with the ski team,” he says. He’s also a fourth-generation visitor to the area. “We always loved Gore, and considered this our mountain,” Crikelair says. That sentiment hasn’t diminished in the slightest. He and his partners put a lot of thought into the overall design and architecture since purchasing the property in 2005. Not to mention the herculean endeavor related to securing the appropriate permits. “We’re using natural materials throughout these buildings, a lot of locally sourced materials, and using locally sourced labor almost exclusively,” he says. Some of the timber used in the homes is taken directly from the property. FrontStreet Mountain Development has integrated a significant amount of granite—complete with garnet deposits— into each home’s design, and each piece is harvested from the Barton Mine nearby. Crikelair says that each residence is built to look like a traditional Adirondack great camp—even the townhomes. “You wouldn’t know they’re a two-family home just by looking at them,” he says. In fact, guests have driven past and asked, “Where are the townhouses?” “That’s how we know it worked,” he says. “That’s what we’re trying to design them to be.”He and the FrontStreet team have gone to great lengths to ensure that the landscape stays as gorgeous and natural as possible, only cutting down trees that coincide with a townhome’s footprint. While it’s cheaper to clear a lot before you build, that was never even considered, he says. As far as the design, a few things stand out: two-sided fireplaces, hand hewn wood beams and exposed beam ceilings, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, master bathrooms worth bragging about, and of course, plenty of custom stonework inside and out, with that gorgeous garnet-laced granite mentioned earlier. “All of the kitchen countertops and vanity tops, the seats in the shower of the master bathrooms, are all done in that dark green granite,” he says. Furnishings lend that upscale, rustic feel you would expect, without feeling kitschy. Furniture with tree branch legs and cross-bars are sprinkled throughout, along with woodsy elements and Pendleton-esque, native-inspired fabrics. Adirondack chairs also make an appearance, of course.
Practical additions like built-in ski lockers on the outside, as well as ski racks in the front yard, have been thoughtfully added. Cedar shake siding and rustic porches lend more of that Adirondack Great Camp-feel.
But beyond that, it’s up to the homeowner: “It’s very much choose your own adventure over here,” he says. Do you need four bedrooms and four bathrooms? Want an extra half-bath somewhere? Or maybe three bedrooms will do the trick? Done. Have a wood-everywhere preference? They’re totally on-board. Things are as state-of-the-art as they get: the large townhouses are Energy Star rated as five-star- plus; “you can’t get any higher than that,” Crikelair says. “We used advanced engineering design for energy efficiency.” The geothermal system provides heat in the winter, and air conditioning in the summer.The location could not possibly get any better, he says. “We’re quite literally the closest place you could possibly stay.” In terms of amenities, there are plenty of private trails, ideal for cross-country skiing and snow shoeing in winter, and hiking the rest of the year, as well as the Gore trails and other state-owned lands. FrontStreet Development transferred 73 acres to the Town of Johnsburg in the last few years to help expand Gore’s trail offerings. Being a four-season community was incredibly important to the team, and something North Creek naturally lends itself to. “You can walk across the Hudson River over here, with your fly rod, or throw a raft on, or inner tube,” Crikelair says. They also have a trout stream that runs through the property and have turned the historic stone foundation of an old mill into a gathering spot and fire pit. Although located just 50 miles north of downtown Saratoga Springs, and 84 miles from Albany, Ski Bowl Village isn’t too far from New York City, either. You can even leave the car at home and grab a train on the Saratoga and North Creek Railway. As of right now, a gatehouse and six townhomes are built, four of which are privately-owned and two which are available for nightly rentals and sale. The remaining 148 townhomes and single-family residences are available for purchase, and development will continue this spring. Each unit, as it is mapped now, will range from 2,000 to 8,000 square feet. Five hotels and a private day lodge, to be called the Hudson Lodge, have been approved by the Adirondack Park Agency and are in the works. Interested in taking a look—or a test drive? A 2,000-square-foot, three-bedroom townhouse with three-and-a-half baths rents for roughly $750 a night most winter weekends, and a 2,900 square foot, four-bedroom, four-and-a-half bathroom townhouse rents for about $1,000 a night.
Head to skibowlvillage.com for more information.