ADAMS -- With a $2 million infrastructure facelift complete at the Greylock Glen, town officials are now pursuing campground developers who can satisfy their vision for the site.
"We need to shoot high for this," Selectmen’s Chair Arthur "Skip" Harrington said at a workshop meeting Wednesday. "We have a unique property here."
At the meeting, Director of Community Development Donna Cesan shared with Selectmen a drafted document seeking proposals on the property. Her department hopes to perfect this draft over the coming months to attract a willing and able partner for the town.
The draft highlights two swaths of five and seven acres on either side of Gould Road, near the end of the road, for development -- the larger plot intended for a permanent, cabin campground and the smaller one for tents.
Officials hope to issue a finalized copy by the end of February, allow roughly four months for responses and to be touring the site with proposing parties by early summer.
Cesan said the desired response would come from a developer able to match the "stewardship values of the area" -- or, as Town Administrator Jonathan Butler framed it at the meeting, fit within the "Berkshire box." This refers to businesses that have demonstrated long-term success in the county, like The Porches and Jiminy Peak, by catering to the area’s established tourist demographic.
"This is the first time the town’s ever issued a camp RFP [request for proposals]," Butler said. "It makes sense on the first shot to lay out a plan where you require the developer to stay within what you think is best for the Greylock Glen."
To this point, officials’ ideal vision includes high-quality, 400-square-foot or larger cabins, to include kitchens, fireplaces and bathrooms, with year-round accommodations. Words like "rustic" and "unique" were used to describe the desired development.
For the tent campground, eco-shelters and "yurts" -- lightweight, portable shelters -- were discussed.
"Cookie-cutter-type places haven’t worked in the Berkshire model," Butler said.
A good proposal would land the Glen a "sustainable revenue source" by adding to the town’s tax rolls, Cesan added, and could help fund additional developments planned for the site. "Synergy with the downtown" is also a desired element, where Adams residents would be welcome to visit and socialize at the site and campground patrons would enjoy ready access to the town.
According to Cesan, proposals will benefit by including a local element, such as a summer youth jobs program, or a collaboration with McCann Technical School students on design or Massachusetts College of Liberal arts students for environmental studies.
Advertising for proposers, Cesan said, will be broad, potentially national.
After the winter, the Department of Conservation and Recreation will begin cutting a complex network of new trails at the site using earmarked funds previously promised to the town.
To reach Phil Demers, email email@example.com.