ARVBA Showcase and Holiday Mixer at the NewVida Preserve

Au Sable River Valley Business Association
Business Showcase at NewVida Preserve

4:00 pm: Networking and socializing

4:40 pm: Knut introduced Rick Vidal, owner, and head of the preserve.

Rick presents NewVida Preserve

NewVida Preserve logoRick and his husband Matt were drawn to the natural environment, community, and rich history of the location.  He expressed gratitude to be the stewards of the property originally known as the Paleface Ski center, hotel, restaurant, and Dude Ranch.  Their mission is to create a place of gathering.  The closing on the property was in Oct 2022. There was three feet of snow and they had difficulty getting to the highest elevation building. Rick got a strong sense of the community when a local man, Willie Lincoln, brought in his machinery to clear the road.  When they acquired the building there were no records of the architecture of the building or layout of the electrical and septic systems.  They went through the process of APA and town approval.

Property, Buildings and Offerings

The NewVida Preserve property has three livable buildings which will become hubs for planetary enrichment, sustainable agriculture, and animal husbandry.  From Nov 2022 to July 2023 there was a lot of renovation.  By the 4th of July the Bistro opened, and in August the bar opened.  By September some of the rooms were ready.  Since then, brunch became available and most recently the gym was completed.  Eventually the sauna, pool and spa will be completed.  In the old Adirondack Life offices, they may rent out office space or create some smaller retail spaces.  There are now 14 king suites in the old hotel wing. The kitchen and Bistro occupy another wing and the great room is the third wing.  Rick mentioned that Patti Fitzgerald, the daughter of the man who built the Paleface resort Boyland (Doc) Fitzgerald, brought him a box full of Paleface memorabilia.  In it was a menu that boasted lobster and frog legs.

The upstairs of the main building has a massage room, yoga and dance studio and a large room for private events which will eventually have its own bar.  Rick also talked about having a space on the main floor for a local business to have a shop.

The pool on the southeast side of the building needs reengineering and renovation to bring it up to code. This spring and summer the pool and sauna/spa will be worked on.  The pool will be a 3-lane lap pool.

Someone inquired about Ricks previous vocations.

His First career was as an infectious disease Doctor. He worked in Haiti and Africa to research TB and drug resistant Ebola.  He became a healthcare consultant for Google services.  Rick and his husband and twin sons also have a trout farm/Inn/restaurant in the Hudson Valley near Rhinebeck.  The property is an old 1780’s farm.  Rick’s husband is an attorney for YouTube.

NewVida Membership

Rick talked about the Membership benefits.  He made it clear that the general public still has access to the lodge and its amenities.  The membership holder would have three benefits.  Access to the 35-mile trail system on the property.  Rick is working on linking up to trails of other peaks that are contingent to the property.  The second benefit is a gym membership and the third is 5% off all food, drinks and classes.

For the general public they are also going to have a points program for example buy seven classes get the eighth free.  There will not be day passes for the gym but will be for the trails which can be purchased on site.  Individual annual membership is $500, young professional $275 and group membership for 2 people is $375 per person.

Currently NewVida is bringing in bands for music events.  They can also host special events of up to 40 people.  Eventually they hope to host events for much larger groups.  They are currently hosting corporate retreats.

Rick has started a weekly newsletter of the top 5 things to know about what is happening at New Vida with roughly 1000 subscribers.  Access is found on NewVida’s website; https://www.newvidapreserve.com/.

The question was put out there about what their biggest challenge was.

Rick said he asked this question to other hospitality businesses in Lake Placid when they started out.  They said to be successful they would need young resilient, hardworking, loyal staff.  Staffing at this level is the challenge.  The transience of seasonal work and availability of affordable housing is a roadblock for people with these attributes.

Tour of NewVida’s Main Building

5:20 pm: Rick gave a tour of accessible parts of the main building.  The main floor has the grand room that is adjacent to the bar.  A room on the other side of the bar has a pool table and lounge with a large screen tv.  This room used to be an open “starlight” terrace where the Paleface customers would dance.  A hallway off the poolroom led to men’s and women’s locker rooms and gym with occupants working out.  The upstairs had as mentioned the massage room with its own A frame peak, the yoga studio was a larger room, also with a peak. The largest room being the special events room.  Rick mentioned that some people can work there from laptops. The facility has strong Internet connectivity.  While standing next to huge A frame support beam, Rick shared a story he heard from Patti Fitzgerald about how those beams were too long to be brought in on a tractor trailer and had to be airlifted when the building was under construction.

A question was asked about the basement.  The three wings of the basement hold offices, kitchen storage and refrigeration and a commercial laundry.

Refreshments and Raffle

The gathering enjoyed beverages and a nice array of charcuterie, fruit, and vegetables with dips.  The bar was also available to purchase beverages. There was a drawing for two door prizes of Town of Jay mugs by Sue Young.  Lucky winners were Jenn the bartender and Tom Matuszewski.

Dec. 10, 2023, 4PM

NewVida Preserve

Contact Info at the directory
Roughly 30 people in attendance

Notes by Sue Young and pictures by Marisol Sauer

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