Editor's note: A previous report stated the saloon would be torn down. It will not be demolished, just an unused part of the building that used to be the saloon's location.
QUEENSBURY — The Great Escape Saloon will be removed to make room for the Adirondack Outlaw ride, whose previous location angered neighbors, according to plans submitted to the town.
The tall, long Outlaw ride will be placed horizontally on a slope behind Dan McGrew’s and the Condor ride, with an entrance plaza where Charley’s Saloon is now.
The configuration keeps it within the height zone agreed upon in 2001 with the town, according to Great Escape documents, but it will be close to the line that separates the 115-foot height zone from the 175-foot height zone. The ride is 164 feet tall, according to the latest plans.
The new location will block the entrance to the Steamin’ Demon — the iconic roller coaster that can be seen from the Northway.
So the plans propose creating a new entrance, next to the bathrooms by the Desperado Plunge. There will be a new plaza for both the roller coaster and the Adirondack Outlaw, with a shaded area, seating and access to the bathrooms.
Planners wrote that the new entrance would increase ridership for the Steamin’ Demon. The entrance is now somewhat hidden behind the Condor ride.
The plaza will take the place of Charley’s Saloon, a restaurant in Ghost Town that has a pub, wooden tables and abandoned pieces from the past, including a stage and inspirational quotes on the walls.
Charley’s Saloon was named after Charles R. Wood, who opened the park as Storytown in 1954. Wood became a successful businessman and well-known local philanthropist. He made large donations to create the C.R. Wood Cancer Center at Glens Falls Hospital to ensure that local patients fighting cancer had access to chemotherapy and to create Double H Ranch in Lake Luzerne for children fighting life-threatening issues and their families.
While the saloon was popular for its food — pot roast sandwiches, chicken wings, beer — it was also well-known for extraordinarily slow service. Last season, the saloon menu was overhauled to mirror the rest of the park restaurants, with standard fare like chicken strips. The service sped up. It was the only restaurant in Ghost Town and one of the few eateries in the park that offered indoor, air-conditioned seating. It also served as a sports bar.
Beer will still be served at a booth next door called Dan McGrew’s, although there is no indoor seating there.
The Queensbury Planning Board will review the plans and hold a public hearing on Jan. 21. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Queensbury Activity Center.
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