Business Opportunities

The Champlain Valley is an increasingly popular destination for hikers, skiers, bicyclists and boaters.   As visitors to the area increase, so does the need for services to accommodate them.  If you want to own your own business and live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, please consider these and other business opportunities that address the expanding needs of the Champlain Valley’s outdoor recreation-based economy. We might add that if you have children, the local schools are excellent.

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Bed & Breakfasts – With increasing awareness of the CATS Trails and the ability to hike from “hamlet to hamlet,” more people are coming to the area and looking for places to stay.  There is a need for “strategically located” B&Bs along the existing and planned trail routes to accommodate the growing number of visitors. Local realtors can guide you to fabulous houses available for reasonable prices that are big enough for you and your paying guests. One new B&B owner is focusing on people who ride bikes on our scenic back roads.  Imagine your B&B as one of the stops on the Champlain Valley Biking and Hiking Trail.

Eating Establishments – Hikers and bikers need places to “re-fuel” so a diner, deli, café, restaurant, or brew pub in or between towns on a trail route would be a perfect spot for hikers and bikers to stop for a snack, a cold drink, or a meal.

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Bicycle Rentals & Repair –
The Champlain Valley is known for its many scenic bicycle routes.  Many people take the train from New York City or Montreal to Westport, ride the Lake Champlain Ferry from Vermont to Essex, or arrive on their own boat.  For those with bikes, they just hop on and begin riding.  For those without bikes, they are out of luck because this area needs someone to open a bike rental and repair shop.  Imagine serving the thousands of people who ride the fabulous and beautiful backroads paralleling the 120-mile long Lake Champlain shoreline.  What a wonderful business.

Local Transportation – Many visitors come to the Champlain Valley by train, ferry, or boat and when they arrive, the only available shuttle takes them to Lake Placid.   Your “shuttle service” would be a part-time business providing much-needed transportation from the train station, ferry dock, or marina to local lodging establishments.  From there, the hikers would hike from town to town and you could lighten their load by taking their packs to each B&B or simply shuttle hikers back to the train station, ferry, or dock at the end of their ramble.  Your business would be a big help for hikers, bikers, and boaters and it would grow because the ease of getting around would encourage people to return to enjoy this marvelous place.

For more information and ideas on business opportunities, or to find a realtor, contact one of the areas local Chambers:

Elizabethtown Chamber of Commerce
Port Henry Chamber of Commerce
Ticonderoga Chamber of Commerce
Westport / Willsboro / Essex Chamber of Commerce

For financial assistance with starting a new business, contact:  Essex County Industrial Development Agency