Empire State Development Issues RFEI to Redevelop Site of Frontier Town Amusement Park in Essex County

Redevelopment Proposals Are Due On Friday, April 28

Empire State Development (ESD) today issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) seeking proposals to redevelop a nearly 300 acre outdoor recreation facility in North Hudson, Essex County. The RFEI follows Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s announcement in January, which unveiled a Master Plan to establish a “Gateway to the Adirondacks” at the former site of Frontier Town theme park.

ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “Governor Cuomo’s vision for the Gateway to the Adirondacks will help to revitalize local economies by attracting more visitors to the Adirondack Park and creating jobs in North Country communities. By developing this property, we will create an inviting, family-friendly atmosphere that New Yorkers and visitors alike will enjoy.”

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “The Gateway to the Adirondacks project is a visionary public/private partnership to expand promotion of the world-class outdoor recreation opportunities available in the Adirondack Park. This centerpiece of the Governor’s new Adventure NY initiative will be a game-changer for local Adirondack community economies, and I look forward to working with ESD to review the responses to the RFEI and develop new ideas to complement DEC’s planned facilities at the site.”

The “Gateway to the Adirondacks” Master Plan – a $32 million public-private initiative – will transform the site of the former Frontier Town into a world-class tourism destination that will attract new visitors to the Adirondack Park and drive economic growth in New York State and the North Country, particularly in the North Hudson, Newcomb, Indian Lake, Long Lake, and Minerva communities.

The Gateway to the Adirondacks Master Plan outlines several elements, including:

  • Campground and day use area;
  • Equestrian camping and trail riding area;
  • Visitor Information Center to introduce visitors to the world class recreation destinations in the Adirondack Park;
  • Event center with tourist accommodations;
  • Interactive exhibits in historic structures highlighting the past, present, and future of the Adirondack forest products and local food industries; and
  • An area along Route 9 for potential commercial development, including amenities compatible with the remainder of the site’s recreational uses as well as the potential for hotels, restaurants, breweries, parking and other developments.

The goal of this RFEI is to solicit ideas for partnership opportunities at the site that link the concepts and principles proposed in the Master Plan with viable models for the development, operation and management of a recreational facility and supporting uses. ESD will use responses and recommendations generated by this RFEI to inform a planned Request for Proposals (RFP) process.

Proposals should strive to address the following development objectives:

  • Enhance the site as an economic engine for the North Country and New York State;
  • Create a family-oriented complex that provides multi-generational amenities;
  • Provide a welcome experience that orients visitors and showcases the region’s world class recreation offerings;
  • Create a transportation hub for parking, motor coach parking, and shuttle service to/from key destinations;
  • Provide for outfitter and vendor services that offer a full range of rentals and experiences;
  • Multi-use and specialty trails to showcase the site’s natural beauty and features;
  • Enhance and complement the site’s existing resources, including preserving the large parking area off of Frontier Road for appropriate uses; utilizing the floodplain for low intensity uses, day use, and open space festivals; rehabilitating viable existing structures; and
  • Feature meaningful participation of Minority Business Enterprises, Women Business Enterprises and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned-Businesses, per Article 15A of the New York State Executive Law. 

The Essex County Industrial Development Agency is anticipated to have a role in the development of the site. The southern portion of the site will be managed by DEC as a campground, equestrian center and areas for day use.

The RFEI and additional information is available here

Responses are due by 12 p.m. on Friday, April 28, 2017. An optional site visit is scheduled for Friday, March 31, 2017. Respondents are not required to attend; however, if they wish to participate, they must RSVP to [email protected] on or before March 28 at 5 p.m.

About Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NEW YORK,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.


Adam Ostrowski | [email protected] | (518) 292-5148 | (800) 260-7313

Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313