18 Sep Lake Placid and North Elba Destination Management Plan Committee Hires Economic Development Director
The Lake Placid and North Elba Destination Management Plan (DMP) Committee announces the appointment of Adam DeSantis as its Lake Placid / North Elba economic development director.
The position has been created to direct the implementation of the Lake Placid and North Elba Destination Management Plan 2030; with the goal of developing a collaborative approach to improving the quality of life and economic opportunities for year-round residents and visitors through the establishment of an effective economic development strategy for the region.
DeSantis’ new role as economic development director includes planning, organizing, and implementation of economic development initiatives, including business attraction and retention, aligning industry investment with regional priorities, supporting housing diversification, engaging in grant writing efforts, research, evaluating and optimizing event management, all while fostering public engagement in the process. During his tenure, he will implement policies and initiatives to attract new industries and professional services, while also leveraging regional strengths, including investments in regional sports venues and existing professional expertise to expand industry segments, ongoing investment, and clusters of professional services.
DeSantis brings extensive experience in housing development, market analysis, business management, budgeting and inter-agency collaboration to the director of economic development position. He served as vice president for a senior housing real estate development group in Albany where he assisted with securing municipal approvals, financing and construction management of numerous senior living communities in the Capital District. Most recently, DeSantis served as the manager of overlay, installations, drawings and signage for the FISU World University Games, which involved ensuring the collaboration of regional partners, including government agencies, ORDA, regional universities and local utilities to ensure successful installation of structures throughout the region in advance of the events.
I am incredibly excited about this opportunity,” DeSantis said. “I’ve learned so much about the region, its incredible organizations, its challenges and its local economy that is very much rooted in tourism. I believe that my role, bringing these organizations together to solve challenges, while enticing new business to the area and keeping the visitor and local resident experience at the core of every decision, will allow the plan to realize its potential and possibly uncover additional opportunities that have yet to be conceptualized.”
DeSantis will report to the North Elba / Lake Placid DMP Committee, with his primary points of contact being the committee co-chairs. The committee comprises representatives from a number of partner organizations, including the Village of Lake Placid, the Town of North Elba, Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST), Lake Placid Center for the Arts, Lake Placid Central School, Adirondack Sports Council, Lake Placid Marathon, New York State Adirondack Park Agency, and the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA).
According to Destination Management Plan Committee Co-Chair Emily Kilburn Politi, the committee’s primary objective is to ensure its plan is fully executed, leading to the creation of this important position. “The destination management plan is a well-researched and thoughtful plan, identifying many strengths and outlining many opportunities, while taking into account a variety of perspectives,” she commented. “The economic development director position is paramount to ensuring that the elements of the DMP are enacted; ultimately benefiting the region by ensuring sustainability for its residents, its business and its visitors.”
According to Mary Jane Lawrence, chief operating officer at the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST), the region’s destination marketing and management organization supports new community initiatives that improve quality of life for residents and the visitor experience. “Destination development and management is important for the sustainability of the region; and – a significant component of ROOST’s strategic plan,” she said. “We look forward to working closely with Adam as part of executing this plan.”
The Town of North Elba and ROOST will allocate funding for the position from the Community Tourism Enhancement Fund portion derived from the additional 2% occupancy tax, paid by those who stay in local lodging properties, implemented in 2020.
About the Lake Placid and North Elba Destination Management Plan
The Lake Placid and North Elba Destination Management Plan provides a 10-year road map, aligning the priorities of local government, economic development, community organizations, and residents to balance the tourism industry with community needs. The goal is to ensure a quality of life for residents that complements the quality of the place for visitors.
The plan was initiated by the Town of North Elba, Village of Lake Placid, and ROOST in 2019. The years-long process included research, surveys of public and private stakeholders, focus groups, workshops, town hall meetings and review of various town and regional planning documents. Results of the process identified strengths, opportunities and challenges and developed a series of prioritized action items to ensure that DMP strategies align with and support other community goals.
The destination management plan can be accessed here.
Jane Hooper, communications manager
Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism