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Discussion Starter #1
Some of my relatives recently rented snowmobiles in Old Forge and found the sleds available to rent rather unexciting (Polaris 550 Fans and Ski-Doo 600 ACE 4-Strokes). They ended up going with Polaris Indy 550s.

However, while up there, we found this place operating out of Van Auken's Inne:

https://snowmobileoutfitters.com/

They rent brand new, liquid-cooled Polaris Indy, Rush, and Assault 600s and 850s!!! Not 550 fans. And they charge about the same as others want for old, Briggs & Stratton powered sleds!

I believe they also offer pretty good lodging deals at Van Auken's coupled with snowmobile rentals. An employee of either Van Auken's or the snowmobile rental company also told me the sleds are leased directly from Polaris, so at the end of the season these sleds will go back to Polaris and for next season they will get a new fleet of 2021 Polaris snowmobiles to rent.
 

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That’s a great option if it stays alive. Van Aukens isnt doing well. The employee I spoke to three weekends ago said its not looking good. If someone offered anywhere near what the owner wants, it’ll be sold there on the spot. They aren’t serving dinner anymore. Lost their chef sometime ago she said.

Maybe this is a new stab at it. Fingers crossed it works out for them. It’s a great way to check out a new chassis without buyers remorse.
 

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Van Auken's location is good, the bar is good, and the old building is super neat. And everyone should stop just there at least once to experience the building and it's history.

I have eaten at the bar before and it was fine. I ate in the dining room last year for the first time, and I will say the whole experience was not so awesome. Especially when you consider the number of fine eating establishments in that area,

I have never stayed there. And I would got to the bar and get bar food again there.

I will also, say that owning and operating a restaurant in the Adirondacks or Tug Hill is not easy, especially when you can't offer your staff steady, year round employment.
 

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Van Auken's location is good, the bar is good, and the old building is super neat. And everyone should stop just there at least once to experience the building and it's history.

I have eaten at the bar before and it was fine. I ate in the dining room last year for the first time, and I will say the whole experience was not so awesome. Especially when you consider the number of fine eating establishments in that area,

I have never stayed there. And I would got to the bar and get bar food again there.

I will also, say that owning and operating a restaurant in the Adirondacks or Tug Hill is not easy, especially when you can't offer your staff steady, year round employment.
But what about all the people that the Adirondack Scenic Railway brings to the area?
The ASR says they bring in more tourist dollars than snowmobiling!:roflmao:
 

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1st weekend of March last year, my son (then 12) and I did a 275 miler from Brewerton to Van Auken's and back.

We got there a couple minutes after 11 in the morning, at which point we were the only people there. We took seats at the empty bar and it was about 5 minutes before any help showed up to see what we wanted (a barmaid who seemed to still be unsteady on her feet from the previous night's festivities). We ordered a couple iced teas and the $16 burgers.

Fast forward 45 minutes and Ben and I are sitting there with empty iced teas, still no burgers, barmaid hasn't even noticed us in half an hour she's been so busy pouring beers and mixing drinks. Business was booming! About 30 people in the bar now, the ol' boy to my left is just finishing his third bloody mary, and he's bitching that he has to sell his camp and sleds because no one wants to go snowmobiling with him anymore. My boy leans over to me and goes, "are these people gonna keep getting drunk? Aren't they here on sleds? We better get out of here before they do!"

When the food finally came we threw cash down on the bar and jetted, ate half our burgers sitting on the backs of our sleds over by the train station, and we got tracks turning before anyone else could make it out of the bar and get back on the trail. The burgers were good, but not $16 and an hour's wait good.
 

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Van Auken’s is the only place that I know of in the Adirondacks that has $500 a shot bourbon. I wasn’t aware that they were having problems, hopefully they can make it work out.
 
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