Norte Maar asks the North Country, “Shall we dance?”
By By Paula Routly
Seven Days, Aug 2, 2006
Rouses Point has seen better days. Last fall the town’s number-one employer, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, announced its impending departure; the drug company employs a tenth of Rouses Point’s 2350 residents and, until recently, ranked as the largest private employer in the North Country. In a recent New York Timesarticle the mayor described the potential impact of the job losses as “Rouses Point’s 9/11.”
Even at the peak of summer boating season, the place has a “bridge to nowhere” feel about it. About a half-dozen empty storefronts, including the downtown Save-A-Lot supermarket, mar the charming but dated business district that runs for several blocks along the west side of Lake Champlain. Yellow caution tape encircles a corner lot piled high with burned wood and rubble — the remains of the landmark Holland Hotel. Last weekend, a group of listless teens walked north past the abandoned stores, toward Canada.