GANSEVOORT — On June 14 Alpin Haus celebrated the ending of a multi-year project, which created a brand new sales office and customer lounge at Alpin Haus RV of Saratoga. The expansion adds 3,600-square-feet and cost close to $500,000 according to Alpin Haus President Andy Heck. Expansion follows a 68 percent growth in RV sales since 2014.
“I just think that the traffic pattern on the I-87 corridor... It’s been such a great corridor for camping, for people going up to the Adirondacks. So we get not just locally, but we get a lot of transient people who camp up that way and use us as their store,” Heck said.
The new facility expands upon the 30 Gordon Lane location. It features new service bays, a new parts and accessories store, and a redesigned sales lot designed to create more space for customers to browse the latest recreational vehicles and campers. Alpin Haus also expects to hire 12 new employees as a result of the expansion.
“Over at Saratoga we’ve grown continuously over the years... Just to be able to tie in all the sales, really helps a lot,” Heck said about the expansion.
As much as this expansion is expected to be transformative for Alpin Haus, Heck says it’s always been in the back of his mind to keep upgrading.
“It’s just ongoing, we always look at things incrementally. We’re growing; we just keep trying to figure out what we have to do... That’s how the business got better and we’ve grown,” he said.
“We keep re-investing in our facilities; if we’ve out-grown an area, we looked at different facilities,” he added.
Alpin Haus has been in business for more than 50 years and is one of America’s largest RVdealers.The Saratoga facility sells and services new and used RVs, travel trailers, fifth wheels, and motorhomes. In addition to the Saratoga County sales facility, Alpin Haus operates RV sales locations in Amsterdam and Port Jervis.
“Over the past few years, we’ve seen many families and individuals develop an interest in the RV lifestyle and it’s been our pleasure to help them find the right outdoor recreation vehicle for their needs. Our newly expanded sales facility will better allow us to serve our valued customers,” Heck said.
GLENS FALLS — The Glens Falls Hospital Foundation has announced the addition of three new members to the Board of Trustees and a new slate of officers for 2018.
The new board members are:
Sean Bain, MD – Internal Medicine physician specializing in Hospital Medicine at Glens Falls Hospital and President of the Medical Staff. Dr. Bain serves as a Hospitalist, providing care exclusively to inpatients at Glens Falls Hospital. As President of the Medical Staff, he leads the governing body that oversees the credentialing, continuing education, and policies and practice for the providers. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, his medical degree from Albany Medical College, and served his residency at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston- Salem, North Carolina.
Andrew Brodie – Co-ManagerofYankeeBoating Center, a family-owned business with locations in Lake George, the Thousand Islands region and Rockland County. Mr. Brodie previously served as a wholesale electrical market engineer for New York Independent System Operator. He earned a master’s degree in Electrical Power Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a bachelor’s degree in Physics/Geology from Middlebury College.
Marc Monahan – Vice President of NBT Bank in Glens Falls. Mr. Monahan has been with NBT for more than eight years, serving in a number of managerial roles. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from SUNY Oswego and an associate’s degree in Business Administration and Management from SUNY Adirondack. He also serves on the boards of directors of the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Glens Falls Civic Center Foundation, and is a past president and treasurer of the Glens Falls Hospital Guild. He is also a member of the Adirondack Civic Center Coalition.
The Foundation’s officers for 2018 are Chair Debra Meier, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Glens Falls National Bank & Trust Co., Vice Chair Eric Cottrell, DDS, owner of Cottrell Dental; and Secretary Katherine Herlihy Schwenker, Esq., Director and Counsel for the Life Insurance Council of New York.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Hospital and Adirondack Trust Company introduce the Above and Beyond Challenge to raise funds for the addiction medicine program.
Helping an addict to recover is often a series of steps taken one at a time, and Saratoga Hospital is taking that quite literally in its new hike fundraising campaign, the Above and Beyond Challenge, presented by the Adirondack Trust Company. The Challenge encourages businesses and individuals to take advantage of the scenic geography of Upstate N.Y. All the while raising funds and awareness for the addiction medicine program at the Saratoga Community Health Center.
This new program features volunteer-led hikes up peaks across the Adirondacks – including the 46 High Peaks, the Lake George Twelve Peaks and the Saranac Six Peaks. The hikes are free and will include a committed adherence to responsible hiking with respect to the natural beauty and protection of the trails.
The Above and Beyond Challenge is the brainchild of Stephan R. von Schenk, president and CEO of The Adirondack Trust Company and former chair of the Saratoga Foundation Board. Von Schenk is an avid hiker and outdoorsman.
“The disease of addiction is heartbreaking for all involved,” von Schenk said.
“I had heard success stories of addiction and the power of outdoor exercise to heal, so I thought, why not incorporate the beauty of the Adirondacks with addiction and let these mountains do what they have done for centuries, provide spiritual and physical healing for all,” he added.
He reached out to Saratoga Hospital for help, and the foundation was quick to assist. So was the business community. Not only was The Adirondack Trust Company fully supportive as lead sponsor, but within a day of von Schenk reaching out, Roohan Realty agreed to be the T-shirt sponsor.
“The response is exciting and we hope this momentum will encourage people to come out to support addiction treatment, as well as enjoy these beautiful mountains with responsible hiking that will keep these trails a treasure for generations to come,” von Schenk said.
Like so many counties across the state and nation, Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties face escalating numbers of families struggling with substance use disorders and addiction, impacting an estimated 17,689 children and adults in Saratoga County alone. There is strong, research-based evidence that correlates hiking or other outdoor activity with more successful addiction program outcomes.The Above and Beyond Challenge is an opportunity for patients to introduce adventure therapy into their treatment plan.
“We haven’t even reached the tipping point of the opioid crisis yet,” said Joshua Zamer, MD, medical director of the addiction medicine program at Saratoga Community Health Center.
“The funds raised by the Above and Beyond Challenge will help us continue to expand our addiction medicine program to meet rapidly emerging needs. I can’t tell you how grateful we are for The Adirondack Trust Company’s support for the Challenge,” he added.
“It was just such a great idea. We were thrilled to work with Steve to create the Above and Beyond Challenge,” said Amy Raimo, Vice President of community engagement and Executive Director of the Saratoga Hospital Foundation.
“There are hikes available for every level – beginner to expert – all led by volunteers with personal experience of those trails. We have no doubt the community will embrace the Above and Beyond Challenge to support the addiction medicine program. And there are some great sponsorship opportunities available, too,” she added.
Donations are encouraged, but hikes are free and registration is required. The hikes are taking place June through September and are open to individuals, patients, and groups.
For more information about becoming a sponsor, call Saratoga Hospital Foundation at 518-583- 8340. To learn more about the Above and Beyond Challenge or to register for a hike, please visit aboveandbeyondchallenge.org.
Photos by Supersource Media LLC.
The Saratoga-Wilton Elks Lodge #161 Flag Day Parade took place on Saturday, June 9.
BALLSTON SPA – The 5th annual Saratoga Balloon and BBQ Festival is back once again at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa. The festival will begin on June 22 and end on June 24. The name of the festival was the Saratoga Balloon and Craft Festival, and is now the Saratoga Balloon and BBQ Festival.
After four successful years, the event organizers realized that they wanted to create a bigger and better event.
“We needed to diversify and add non-balloon related components,” organizer, Tim Cianciola, from Craftproducers, said.
“There’s nothing more appealing than mouth watering barbecue,” Christian Dutcher said, co-organizer of Americade.
“With the barbecue and bacon additions, no one will be disappointed,” he added.
Both organizers agree that by adding barbeque, the festival will have a far greater appeal.
“People love to eat and drink. We will add a craft beer pavilion and serve wine too. With all the abundant great entertainment, our audience can have an enjoyable day,” Cianciola said.
“Let’s not dismiss the balloons; they are worth the price of admission. As they ascend, a parade of skyward-seeking colorful balloons and their passengers leave behind their friends on the ground. Actually, an amazing sight,” Dutcher points out.
Besides the balloons and barbeque, the festival will add a bacon theme. Organizers expect to host a dozen vendors serving bacon in one form or another. With all the emphasis on eating and drinking, there’s still a full slate of options at the Balloon and BBQ Festival. There will be a kids’ zone with games, bounce houses, tethered balloon rides, pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, balloon twisting, a magician, and a walk-about balloon.
For the adults, the marketplace has art, craft, specialty foods, and commercial vendors as well as helicopter rides. The will be live music performances, street performances, and a magician. The Jersey Disc Devils, a team of trained dogs with performance routines will also be in attendance.
The festival opens on Friday at 3 p.m. and closes after the “Balloon Glow” at dusk. Saturday runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. While Sunday’s hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adult admission is $10 and child admission $5.
To find out more visit www.balloonandbbq.com
Photo of Farm at 284 Middleline Road provided by Carmelita Jaski.
BALLSTON SPA — Ellms Family Farm known for their Christmas trees, pumpkin patches and various forms of “agri-tainment” just got bigger.
Garth Ellms, proprietor of Ellms Family Farm, acquired a property located at 284 Middleline Road in Ballston on June 1. The 80-acre piece of land adds to their 250 acres, totaling to 330 acres.
Ellms purchased the property from Robert Pustolka Sr. for $360,000. Pustolka is also a farmer.
“We knew the farmer [Pustolka] so we just stayed in touch with him... He wants it to stay an agricultural farm and I think he sees what our family farm is doing and realizes that we are going to be around a long time... We diversify operations to be able to meet the changing world,” Ellms said.
“We don’t have any specific plans yet, we are working on a couple different ideas and part of it will be agricultural focused, but for the interim we’ll probably look to just work with another friend or local farmer to hay it,” he added.
Ellms moved to the town of Ballston in 1983 and purchased 63 acres and started growing Christmas trees. In 1998 he purchased the dairy farm next door and spent the next two to three years coming up with an idea or a concept for that property. Later in 2005, Ellms opened up the full “agri-tainment” business.
According to Ellms, agri- tainment is a way of inviting the public to your farm. It’s an educational and fun way of learning and being out in the open space. Many are familiar with Ellms Family Farm’s many venues of entertainment such as pumpkin patches, hayrides and corn mazes.
“The town of Ballston is a rural and agricultural community and we’re doing everything we can to keep it that way, if it means purchasing land before developers can get it that’s what we’re going to do,” Ellms said.
WILTON — Rebuilding Together Saratoga County is holding its 5th annual golf tournament at McGregor Links Country Club on June 15.
All proceeds support local home repair projects for low- income homeowners, keeping them warm, safe and dry.
To find out more please visit the website at www.rtsaratoga.org.
Photo by Marissa Gonzalez
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Sonny Bonacio, proprietor of Bonacio Construction Inc., has acquired Stark’s Auto located at 62-64 Excelsior Ave. The property closed on May 25.
As previously reported, Starks Auto has been a business in Saratoga Springs for 60 years and was one of the first auto repair shops in the area. Sidney Stark, former owner of Stark's Auto has been a friendly familiar face in the Saratoga community for just as long.
According to county records, RR Depot, LLC located at 18 Division St., is the grantee of the property. Bonacio Construction Inc. is located at this address.
The commercial space that was built in 1957, formerly Stark’s Auto, consisted of a repair shop and a neighboring auto supply store.
“The company is working with several potential tenants to determine a new use for the space,” Larry Novik, the director of business development at Bonacio Construction Inc., said.
Bonacio also constructed the Empire Run apartments at 130 Excelsior Ave. which is located down the road from Stark's Auto.
The square footage of the entire property is approximately 24,394 feet while the building has 6,000 square feet. The full market value of the property is $486,376.81, Bonacio acquired it for $450,000, according to the Saratoga County Online Assessment Roll System (OARS).
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Kennedy Property Management (KPM) Restoration has been serving the greater Capital Region for over six years and now has a new office in Saratoga Springs that opened in early January.
Upon moving to Saratoga Springs, James Kennedy, proprietor of KPM, began simply cutting grass for banks, but over time this business grew. Starting as just a one-man-show, KPM now has around 50 employees and took over the property preservation field. From grass cuts to interior and exterior work, KPM can deal with every aspect a foreclosure would need.
Other services KPM Restoration provides includes basementrehabs,roofreplacement, water migration, trash outs, drywall and interior construction.
For information call 518-862-8228 or visit https://kpmrestoration.com.
HALFMOON — This local organization is helping house fire victims as soon as the fire department is called.
After the Fire, Inc is a non- profit organization run solely by local volunteers that come to the victims’ aid with both resources and emotional support as the emergency is occurring. Their motto is “fire does not discriminate.”
While After the Fire, Inc is based out of Halfmoon, members will respond to fire emergencies across Saratoga County. The organization is alerted with a page sent from Fire Control dispatchers (911), and members closest to the scene will show up with personal hygiene items, as well as a donated night in a hotel. Members will respond regardless of the time to help these victims.
Maureen Smith, is the current Vice President of After the Fire, Inc and does a lot of the behind-the-scenes work. Since the organization is a non-profit, it operates on grants, written by Smith, personal donations and fundraising. The organization also gives a $100 gift card to each family member affected by the fire. Just last year the organization spent almost $14,000.
“Last year we got hit hard. Several apartment buildings were hit and we’d show up and have to have 15 to 20 gift cards,” Smith said.
Smith is from Saratoga and has been a member for around five years. She first heard about After the Fire through an ad in the local Moneysaver.
“I was at a point in my life and just wanted to join something and volunteer my time to help people,” Smith said.
Most recently, After the Fire, Inc helped the Broadbent family of Malta. On May 2 a house fire claimed the life of one family member and sent five others to the hospital. All the children in the family were adopted and some suffer from profound disabilities.
“That was a really hard one,” Smith said. “So we tried to go a little above what we usually do... We stayed with them longer but I think every family, if there are little kids involved, we do try to provide blankets, books and stuffed animals to make it a little easier for them,” she added.
After the Fire, Inc was formed in 1991 by ladies’ auxiliary members from Halfmoon and Clifton Park areas that felt fire victims needed tremendous help after the fire was put out and the fire trucks were gone.
The organization will be holding their 5th annual “Not Too Far From Home Comedy Show” on November 10 at the Holiday Inn in Saratoga Springs. Monthly meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of every month; the meeting is next June 26 at 7 p.m. at the Halfmoon Town Hall.
To find out how you can help After the Fire, Inc visit afterthefire.org or call 518-435-4571.