HUNTER, New York — Hunter Mountain has teamed up with New York Zipline Adventure Tours (NYZAT) to provide the longest and highest ziplines and canopy tour in North America. Construction of the ziplines, towers and canopy tour will begin immediately; a groundbreaking ceremony will be held on January 9, 2010 to correspond with the culmination of Hunter’s 50th Anniversary. The ziplines, canopy tour and adventure tower are scheduled to open in spring of 2010.
“Greene County was the ideal location for this project,” said Jay Bialsky, owner of NYZAT, which also operates similar ziplines in New Hampshire and Jamaica. “The Catskills combine beautiful terrain and easy access from the NY metro area.”
NYZAT will build three (3) separate tours on Hunter Mountain, from mild to wild, providing fun for all ages. The longest tandem ziplines, extending from the summit, will be over 3000′ long and nearly 600′ off the ground. The three individual courses will total almost 5 miles of ziplines, sky bridges and challenge elements.
Guests will be accompanied on tours of up to 2.5 hours by professionally trained guides. The facilities will operate year-round, utilizing Hunter’s chairlifts, terrain and base lodge. All design and construction meets or exceeds the latest safety standards as outlined by the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) and Professional Ropes Course Association (PRCA).
Mr. Bialsky also noted the support he received from Hunter Mountain, the Town and Village of Hunter, Greene County Economic Development, Tourism & Planning, Greene County Industrial Development Agency, New York State Office of Community Renewal and numerous other organizations.
“New York Zipline Adventure Tours will be the biggest attraction to hit Greene County since our ski resorts opened. There’s nothing like it anywhere near the NY metro area,” said Warren Hart, Director of Greene County Economic Development, Tourism & Planning.
Noting that the ziplines are expected to attract 30,000 people during its first year and double that amount by its third year of operation, Mr. Hart added: “We expect the attraction to have tremendous spin-off benefits for the tourism industry here. People will be drawn to the ziplines, then discover the many other recreational, cultural, lodging and dining opportunities in Greene County.”
NYZAT received a $200,000 low-interest Quantum Fund loan from Greene County, as well as a $200,000 grant from the New York State Office of Community Renewal. Dennis Lucas, Supervisor of the Town of Hunter, is the municipal sponsor of the grant, which is being administered by Greene County Economic Development, Tourism & Planning.
Division of Housing and Community Renewal Commissioner Deborah VanAmerogen said, “The Division of Housing and Community Renewal is pleased to be able to provide the final piece of critical financing to make NYZAT a reality at Hunter Mountain. This is another example of a strong private/public partnership yielding benefits for the local economy, providing another incentive for tourists to visit Greene County and more importantly creating twenty-nine (29) new, permanent tourism-related jobs for the residents of the Hudson Valley.
Hunter Mountain will assist in handling NYZAT’s marketing, public relations, communications and sales functions. The operation will be conducted out of Hunter’s base lodge.
“The new ziplines and canopy tour will provide another hugely popular and distinct reason to visit the Catskills,” explains Brian Czarnecki, Director of Marketing & Sales for Hunter Mountain. “We’re glad to have NYZAT join our team, and believe these adventure elements will be as exciting as anything we ever could have imagined. We’re elated to be able to offer such a distinct experience, available throughout the seasons at Hunter Mountain.”
“This project is a perfect example of the type of tourism investment needed to strengthen Greene County’s appeal as a four-season destination,” said Assemblyman Pete Lopez. “The innovation and creativity of the management at Hunter Mountain, together with the support of our state and local development agencies can only lead to more good things in the future. We must continue to promote similar partnerships with other businesses across Greene County.”