New home for Lipizzan Stallions

11/19/03 12:00AM

(Host) Grand Isle County's most important tourist attraction has found a new home.

Colonel Ottomar Herrmann has been bringing his white Lipizzan Stallions to North Hero for more than a decade. Their equestrian performances draw thousands. Each summer, Herrmann and his company spend two months in the islands.

But two years ago, officials learned the North Hero location used for the shows would no longer be available. Ruth Wallman is with the Lake Champlain Islands Chamber of Commerce.

(Wallman) The Lipizzan performances are the single biggest enterprise in Grand Isle County. We've had a couple of studies done over the last ten years that show that the impact on Grand Isle County businesses is close to ten million dollars. So if they left, it would have a huge impact.

(Host) Wallman says the Chamber has been working with the Vermont Department of Forests and Parks to make the under-utilized Knight Point State Park the new home for Herrmann's Lipizzan Stallions.

This month North Hero planning officials gave the plan the green light.

Wallman says ultimately, the 1.5 million dollar project will include a performance area for the horses, a band shell, skating rink and a exhibit building constructed on the 60 acre park. The chamber will have to raise funds to finance the project, and still needs to win an Act 250 approval.

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