NORTHVILLE - "Far enough to get away, but close enough to get to."
That is the slogan the Northville Merchants Association is using to help make the village a destination for people around the region.
After several years of inactivity, the association is starting to come back. About 60 people have returned to the group and more are expected to join, organizers say.
Mike Intrabartola, left, president of the Northville Merchants Association, speaks with his wife, Lorrie, center, and daughter-in-law Michele Drozd at the Inn at the Bridge, operated by Intrabartola and his family.
The Leader-Herald/Arthur Cleveland
Association President Mike Intrabartola, owner of the Inn at the Bridge, said he has his work cut out for him.
"There is a lot to do in and around the lake district," Intrabartola said.
Intrabartola said the association restarted in the winter with roughly six members attending the first meeting. As of Tuesday, the number was 58, with three new members scheduled to join shortly.
While organizers are still setting some goals, Intrabartola said the main goal of the association is to make Northville a "four-season destination."
"We need to reach the people who like to come to the Adirondacks," Intrabartola said, adding many would be attracted to the Sacandaga Park and the numerous bicycle and hiking trails in the area.
With a new website, www.adirondacknorthville.com, and brochures, the association is accentuating the history in the village, promoting the area and its businesses, and offering a schedule of events.
The association could be extremely useful to the village, Intrabartola said.
"It could be a big improvement not just for businesses," he said. "There is a lot to do in and around the lake district."
Intrabartola said funding for the group comes from fundraising, donations and membership fees.
The annual membership fee is $75. People don't have to own a business to join the group. Membership is open to people living in Northville, Northampton and the Sacandaga Park area.
This is not the first time the area had a merchants group.
"From way back, it existed, but it sort of fell apart," Intrabartola said.
Joyce Teshoney, owner of Adirondack Country Store and treasurer for the association, said interest in the original association gradually dwindled down. It provided scholarships and maintained an information booth, but little else was done.
"It was never really dissolved; we were still in existence," Teshoney said.
Since the group returned, Teshoney said it has sparked excitement.
"I think it's wonderful. It's great to see so many new businesses in town, just to feel the energy of things picking up again," Teshoney said.
Intrabartola said the association hopes to be part of many upcoming events, such as July Fourth celebrations, the Pumpkin Fest on Oct. 19 and the Northville Rotary Club's Woodworking and Fine Arts Weekend, which begins July 19.
Intrabartola said the group may support local stores by having musicians perform during the Rotary Club's weekend celebration, drawing in business. Intrabartola said he hopes to work with the Sacandaga Valley Arts Network to bring in musicians and artists to the area.
The group also wants to coordinate signage on Route 30 directing travelers to the village.
Teshoney said the group is developing committees to plan for upcoming events.
John Trachta, owner of Java John's in the village, said he hopes to see a new energy in the downtown area.
Trachta described the group as a think tank.
"We're bouncing ideas off one another," Trachta said.
He said the Merchants Association is still developing its website and a plan for events.
"I think any start-up of a new organization is going to take time," Trachta said.