After publishing our treatise last Sunday exploring the future of tourism and the need to think out of the box while reinventing our current approach to attracting visitors and spending bed tax money, we were disappointed to see that the “brew-cycle” will not become a reality in Lake George.
The proprietor withdrew his proposal after a hearing that was long on concerns and short on support.
That was a shame.
We liked the idea of the “brew-cycle,” just as we liked the idea of the “tiki tours” from the same entrepreneurs last summer.
We believed the perception that the “brew-cycle” would be loaded with drunken patrons endangering themselves and other visitors was vastly overblown. After all, they serve alcohol on the steamboats, but there is not a problem with tourists falling overboard.
What really caught our eye was that business partners Greg Teresi and Anthony Ali had been approached about bringing the business to Glens Falls.
Lake George’s loss could be Glens Falls’ gain.
This fits perfectly with one of our tourism ideas about marketing Glens Falls to Lake George tourists as a viable day trip — maybe “the quiet place to be.”
In some ways, we believe Glens Falls might have more to offer with a few tweaks in the concept.
We see utilizing the current trolley system to transport tourists from Lake George to a launching area on the outskirts of Glens Falls — perhaps near the Sprinkles ice cream stand or SUNY Adirondack.
Instead of concentrating on the pub crawl business model — although that could be part of it — what about a day trip through Glens Falls that could include an art and history theme and some small town charm?
We envision a stop at Cooper’s Cave for ice cream, lunch or a beverage before stopping by the Shirt Factory for browsing and shopping, a tour of The Hyde, a stop at the actual Cooper’s Cave under the Route 9 bridge and a final stop at the Chapman Historical Museum, with a stroll through downtown for lunch or dinner.
Not one of these attractions might be enticing enough for a day trip, but the combination of all of them packaged together while pedaling along on an “art-cycle” or “history-cycle” could be a fun way to spend a day.
We imagine tours that include a picnic lunch in Crandall Park, a swim at Haviland Cove, bike rentals over to the combines in Hudson Falls or a final stop in downtown during the weekly “Take a Bite” event.
If these tours were a daily staple during the summer months, that could attract more business downtown and prop up the current businesses already there.
We imagine multiple themes for different times of the day or days of the week.
It’s the type of concept that could broaden a visitor’s experience beyond just the lake.
Granted, there are some problems. We haven’t figured out how to get the cycle back up the hill from Cooper’s Cave, or safely across Quaker Road, but these obstacles can be overcome.
So to Teresi and Ali, we say, come on down.