Warren County OK’s $3 million from bed tax for ‘game changer’ winter attraction

Chronicle Managing Editor Cathy DeDe writes: The Warren County Board of Supervisors approved spending up to $3 million in Occupancy Tax funds to bring to Lake George a new indoor winter attraction: a Canadian-created interactive, immersive light “experience.”

“It’s a game-changer,” like the Ice Castles, but not dependent on weather, said Sam Luciano, president and general manager of the Fort William Henry, where the attraction will be based.

Moment Factory out of Montreal, creates interactive light “experiences.” Image from Moment Factory on Facebook

Moment Factory in Montreal is the attraction’s creator.

The Lake George Winter Coalition, which formed during the Covid pandemic to create the Winter Fest visitors incentive program, approached the county for the occupancy tax funding.

Mr. Luciano, the Coalition’s spokesman, said they expect to pay the County back within five years — as he said they did with revenues from Winter Fest.

Glens Falls Ward 1 Supervisor Jack Diamond, the only vote against the project, sought assurances that the Coalition will guarantee repayment.

Members of the public also questioned the haste with which the request was made. The coalition said they’ve worked on the effort since last winter — but needed to finalize quickly in order to gain exclusive rights to such an attraction from Moment Factory.

Town of Chester Supervisor Craig Leggett said the Occupancy Tax committee voted early to invest several million dollars in reserve funds in tourism-related infrastructure.

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