In the spring of 1989, the Adirondack working class received an alarming wake-up call in the unlikely form of Robin Leach. The Adirondacks, according to the garrulous host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, were a hidden jewel just waiting to be discovered by travelers with a taste for wilderness and the purchasing power to claim a slice of nature-at-its-moneyed-best for their very own. The show had even gone so far as to list the remote and rugged mountains as an “upcoming hot spot for jet-setters” in its “Guide to the World’s Best Places.”
Leach’s prediction had been well borne out by the mid-1990s. “Rough It Like A Rockefeller,” proclaimed one strapline in the travel section of the Wall Street Journal, while an article in Vanity Fair encouraged readers to go “camp hopping in the haute Adirondacks” and Travel and Leisure billed it as a place where “the notion of escape endures.” Such articles, liberally sprinkled with posh photographic layouts depicting the rich at play in tastefully rustic lodges nestled on the shores of gleaming silver lakes, recommended such accommodations as The Point in Lake Placid, where guests could take in the clean mountain air for a mere $1300 a night.
Beemers had been traded for sport utility vehicles, and the Adirondacks, it appeared, had become an exclusive retreat for well-heeled consumers seeking respite from their taxing cosmopolitan lives in the newly fashionable wilderness. [Read more…] about Adirondack Gentrification: Seasonal Development & The Rent Sink (Part 5)