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The World Visits Lake Placid in February… Bobsled and Skeleton World Championships Return

February 3rd, 2012 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Whiteface - Lake PlacidLAKE PLACID, N.Y. — The world is getting ready to visit Lake Placid, N.Y., and once again the tiny two-time Olympic village in upstate New York will be the center of the sliding universe when the FIBT Bobsled and Skeleton World Championships, presented by Conceptum Sport Logistics gets under way on the Olympic Sports Complex track. This will mark the second time since 2009 that Lake Placid has hosted the sport’s biggest race outside the Olympic year.

“We’re ready… what more needs to be said,” remarked New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) chairman Pat Barrett. “We’ve been preparing for this event since it was awarded to Lake Placid and everyone is ready to show the fans, officials and most of all the athletes an unforgettable time.”

Olympic Bobsled RunMore than 20 nations are expected to compete on the 1,455-meter long course in men’s two and four man bobsled, women’s bobsled and men’s and women’s skeleton, including the reigning four-man Olympic bobsled champion Steve Holcomb (Park City, Utah) of the United States. Holcomb rode his 2009 world championship victory in Lake Placid into the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, in Vancouver, Canada, where he became the first American bobsled pilot to win an Olympic gold medal in more than 60 years. Many of the athletes competing this time around are also hoping that the momentum gained at the world championships will carry over to the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Racing begins on Friday, Feb. 17, at 9:30 a.m. with the opening two runs of the women’s bobsled race. The women’s world champion will be crowned under the lights, Saturday night when runs three and four begin at 5 p.m. Saturday also features runs one and two of the two-man bobsled competition, beginning at 9 a.m.

Sunday’s schedule will feature the crowning of the two-man world champion when racing begins at 9 a.m. and the team competition. The team event will feature at least 10 nations competing in men’s and women’s skeleton, men’s two-man bobsled and women’s bobsled, all racing for the lowest combined time.

Racing will resume, Thursday, Feb. 23, when the world’s best women’s skeleton athletes take to the 22-curve track at 9:40 a.m. They will take two runs before a world champion is crowned on Friday, Feb. 24, when racing begins at 9:45 a.m. The men will also race, Friday, starting at 5 p.m.

Saturday’s schedule features four-man bobsled action, with heats one and two beginning at 9 a.m., before the men’s skeleton action resumes with its final two runs at 5 p.m. Finally, the 2012 FIBT Bobsled and Skeleton World Championships, presented by Conceptum Sport Logistics will conclude, Sunday, with the third and fourth runs of the four-man race, beginning at 9:20 a.m.

Be sure to bring the entire family to the world championships and be a part of the excitement, on and off the track. Public skeleton rides are scheduled for Monday, Feb. 20, through Thursday, Feb. 23, from 5:30-7 p.m., and on Friday, Feb. 24, from 1-2 p.m. Reservations are required. To reserve your spot, call 518.523.4436 or e-mail oscreservations@orda.org.

A fireworks display at the track, sponsored by Aubuchon Hardware and Benjamin Moore Paints, will light up night’s sky Saturday night, Feb. 18, beginning at 8:45 p.m., following the women’s bobsled award ceremony and the public draw for the team event. Fireworks are also slated for Saturday, Feb. 25, also beginning at 8:45 p.m.

Plus join the World Championship Concert Sunday night, Feb. 19, inside the Conference Center at Lake Placid. The doors open at 6 p.m., with Roadside Mystic playing at 7 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony for the men’s two-man event and team competition. The music will continue at 8:30 when Assembly of Dust takes to the stage. Tickets are just $20 for Sunday’s party.

Tickets are on sale now for the 2012 FIBT Bobsled and Skeleton World championships, presented by Conceptum Sport Logistics. Single day tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for seniors and juniors. Tickets to see all seven days of competition are $50 for adults and $35 for juniors and seniors. Tickets are available on line by visiting http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?organ_val=2439, through the Olympic Center’s box office at 2634 Main St., Lake Placid, or at the Olympic Sports Complex box office.

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Whiteface/Lake Placid a Romantic Ski Getaway

January 9th, 2012 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Shermans Travel Top-Six Romantic Getaways

Whiteface MtLAKE PLACID/WILMINGTON, N.Y. — Are you looking for a romantic ski vacation this winter? If you are, you might want to consider Whiteface/Lake Placid, N.Y. Shermans Travel has included the two-time Olympic village and Whiteface Mountain, inWilmington, N.Y., as one of their top six Romantic Ski Destinations.

The article describes skiing at the Olympic Mountain, bobsled rides at Mt. Van Hoevenberg and the Olympic Center as activities and attractions. It also features lodging properties including the Mirror Lake Inn and the Lake Placid Lodge.

This is the latest recognition for the resort. Earlier this winter, Whiteface/Lake Placid was tabbed by National Geographic Magazine as one of the top-10 winter destinations world-wide. Whiteface/Lake Placid was one of only three United States destinations to make the list. The world-wide publication also featured the area in its top-10 of North American Snow Adventures.

Of course this fall; readers of SKI Magazine selected Whiteface/Lake Placid as the top destination for Off Hill Activities. The readers also selected Whiteface Mountainas the fourth top ski resort in the eastern United States.

Whiteface, Wilmington and Lake Placid also received high marks from the magazine’s readers for its scenery (#2), resort dining (#3), après ski (#3), mountain character (#4), family programs (#7), challenging terrain (#7), overall terrain (#9), overall satisfaction (#9) and lodging (#10).

SnowEast Magazine readers also picked Whiteface Mountain as the east’s most scenic resort.

For more information about Whiteface/Lake Placid and all of ORDA’s Olympic venues, log on to www.WhitefaceLakePlacid.com.

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Environmental Authors McKibben, Stager to Speak at HPIC

January 2nd, 2012 · No Comments · Adirondack News

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Environmental authors Bill McKibben and Curt Stager will be among the distinguished speakers participating in the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Winter 2012 Lecture Series at the High Peaks Information Center (HPIC). The Saturday evening lecture series begins Jan. 7 and runs through March 17.

Adirondack Mountain Club LogoMcKibben, one of the leading voices of the environmental movement, is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College in Vermont. His books include “The End of Nature,” “The Age of Missing Information” and “Hope, Human and Wild: True Stories of Living Lightly on the Earth.” His Feb. 4 lecture, “Notes from the Front of the Climate Fight,” will focus on the global movement to address climate change.

Stager, a professor at Paul Smith’s College, is the author of “Deep Future: the Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth,” which Kirkus Reviews listed as one of the best nonfiction books of 2011. On Jan. 21, Stager will speak on “Climate Whiplash: What Happens After Global Warming?” While debate over global warming generally focuses on what may happen in the next 100 years, Stager will discuss the long-term climate picture.

Other lectures in the series will focus on winter birds, backcountry travel, avalanche awareness and moose in New York State. On the lighter side, the series will also feature concerts by Annie and the Hedonists and the Rustic Riders.

Winter 2012 HPIC Lecture Series

Jan. 7: “Winter Birds of the Adirondacks” with Joan Collins, president of Adirondack Avian Expeditions & Workshops.

Jan. 14: “Backcountry Travel” with Pete Fish, a retired forest ranger with over 30 years experience patrolling the High Peaks.

Jan. 21: “Climate Whiplash: What Happens After Global Warming?” with Curt Stager.

Jan. 28: “Basic Avalanche Awareness” with High Peaks Forest Ranger Jim Giglinto.

Feb. 4: “Notes from the Front of the Climate Fight” with Bill McKibben.

Feb. 11: “Moose in New York” with state wildlife biologist Ed Reed.

Feb. 18: “Adirondack Environmental History: It’s as Clear as Mud” with Brendan Wiltse, a Ph.D. candidate from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario.

Feb. 25: Music by Annie and the Hedonists.

March 3: “Introduction to Square Dancing,” with music and calling by Stan Burdick.

March 10: “Flora and Fauna of the Adirondacks.”

March 17: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with The Rustic Riders, an Adirondack-based acoustic group.

Saturday evening lectures at HPIC begin at 8 p.m. All programs are free and open to the public.

The High Peaks Information Center (HPIC) is at the end of the Adirondack Loj Road, 8 miles south of Lake Placid. For more information about the lecture series and other ADK programs, visit our website at www.adk.org or call (518) 523-3441.

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Essex County DMO presents First Annual Destination Awards

June 21st, 2011 · No Comments · Adirondack News

LAKE PLACID, NY – Three organizations took home the first-ever Destination Awards on Tuesday as the Board of Directors of the Lake Placid CVB/Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (LPCVB/ROOST) announced the recipients at a ceremony at the Conference Center at Lake Placid.

Justin Smith, Board of Directors Chair, Lake Placid CVB/Regional Office of Sustainable TourismThe awards were presented by Justin Smith, Chair of the LPCVB/ROOST board of directors. “As the Destination Marketing Organization for Essex County, we are pleased to showcase the people and organizations who have made the greatest contributions toward achieving a sustainable tourism economy for our region,” he said during the event. “I’m honored to celebrate the efforts of our industry’s best.”

Three awards were presented, all for efforts undertaken during the period January 2010 through May 2011.

New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA)The first presentation was the 2010 Destination Product Award, which is given to the group or individual who has, through capital investment or public coordination, moved forward with a project that positively affects the tourism-related infrastructure in Essex County. The award was presented to the New York State New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) for securing the funding, facilitating the design and building the Conference Center at Lake Placid.

“This was an easy winner to select,” said Smith during the presentation. “Perhaps the most significant arrow that we have in our quiver is our own State Authority. Through their efforts, we’re starting off in the black: the facility is paid for with funds set aside through ORDA by Empire State Development and by Governor Pataki before he left office, so the community will have the newest, most state-of-the-art facility, with absolutely no debt load.”

Matt Stanley, Manager, Santa's Workshop; Kathryn Reiss, owner, High Falls Gorge represent the Adirondack Attractions groupThe 2010 Tourism Marketing Award was given to a group that distinguished itself for developing a cooperative marketing program, beginning with a website and printed collateral, to promote the collection of unique attractions throughout the region. The award was presented to the Adirondack Attractions group, which includes Ausable Chasm, Santa’s Workshop, Whiteface Mountain, High Falls Gorge, The Wild Center, Natural Stone Bridge and Caves.

“In the 50‘s, 60‘s and 70‘s, before there was an Adirondack Regional Tourism Council, it was the Adirondack Attractions who were responsible for cooperatively marketing the Adirondacks.”, said Smith. “The Adirondack Attractions group has banded together to recreate this model, and to develop a cooperative regional campaign that plays on their collective strengths.”

Kevin and George Leveille, of Lake Placid LacrosseThe evening wrapped up with the Tourism Advocate Award, which is given to a group or individual who is directly responsible for bringing a large group or event to the area resulting in a significant economic impact to the county. The 2010 award recipient was Lake Placid Lacrosse, accepted by founder George Leveille. Lake Placid Lacrosse began in 1990 with 7 teams and 14 games, and has grown into a weeklong annual event that hosts over 180 teams.

“George and his group have facilitated infrastructure expansion to 13 fields, and underscore the value of events to the region,” said Smith. “Lake Placid Lacrosse is a tremendous example of outstanding vision and hard work, ensuring Lake Placid’s place as a premiere destination for the fastest growing sport in the U.S.”

The Ceremony began with an overview of 2010 highlights in tourism promotion by James McKenna, President of the LPCVB/ROOST. He reported the findings of the 2010 Leisure Travel Information Study, and the many projects undertaken by the LPCVB/ROOST staff during 2010, including the launch of four new websites, including lakeplacid.com, the integration of social media and the development of a coalition to ensure the future of the Empire State Winter Games.

The 2010 Destination Award nominees were submitted by the staff and board of directors of the LPCVB/ROOST, and the winners were selected by the board chair. Nominees for the 2011 Destination Awards will be solicited from Essex County’s marketing partners in advance of next year’s event, and voted upon by the LPCVB/ROOST Board of Directors.

Lake Placid CVB/Regional Office of Sustainable TourismFor more information about the Lake Placid CVB/Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, including links to their annual reports and the Leisure Travel Information Study results for the past eight years, visit their corporate website at www.roostadk.com.

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Lake Placid CVB/ROOST – 2010 Leisure Travel Study

June 14th, 2011 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Lake Placid, NYLAKE PLACID, NY – Leisure travel visitors to Lake Placid and Essex County are environmentally conscious, attracted to the area’s outdoor activities and spent $65 for every dollar spent on marketing in 2010, according to the latest leisure travel information study.

For the eighth year in a row, the Technical Assistance Center (TAC), based at SUNY Plattsburgh, was contracted by the Lake Placid CVB/Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (LPCVB/ROOST) to conduct an independent, third party Leisure Travel Information Study.

According to the report, the average household income of 2010 respondents was $80,000. The average age was 52 years, slightly higher than in 2009, with a 5-year average of 49.9 years.

Respondents live primarily in the Northeast, with an increased number over 2009 residing within New York State. Hotels and motels are the most common type of lodging respondents used during their stay. Outdoor activities remain the strongest reported attraction to the area, followed by relaxing, dining and shopping.

The Lake Placid CVB / Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism is the accredited destination marketing organization responsible for promoting the Schroon Lake, Lake Champlain, Whiteface, Saranac Lake and Lake Placid regions to the traveling public.

The Leisure Travel Information Study is based on a survey of the LPCVB/ROOST’s 2010 trackable leads database. New leads are added on a constant basis; walk-in visitors, phone and mail inquiries, bingo cards from magazine advertising, and web signups provide a snapshot of the respondents to the 2010 overall marketing efforts. This year, social networking participants were included for the first time, establishing a basis for comparison in this growing communications medium in future years.

Although lakeplacid.com alone receives millions of unique visitors, the survey takes only these trackable leads into consideration. In order to calculate the economic impact of the ROOST’s marketing efforts exclusively, the results do not include any standard economic multipliers, such as the impact from group visitation, staff expenditures, sales tax or events.

In addition to valuable demographic data and trends, the study’s intent is to determine the effectiveness of the LPCVB/ROOST’s marketing programs, to measure the return on investment (ROI) ratio for public marketing expenditures and the conversion rate factor, or the number of those leads who actually visited the region.

The report found that the percent of visitors who stated that the information or advertisements viewed influenced their decision to visit the region was 83 percent, which is near the five-year average of 82 percent. And, for every occupancy tax dollar LPCVB/ROOST spent on marketing, visitors to Essex County spent $65.

The major reduction in regional cooperative spending and the elimination of state matching funds in 2010 clearly impacted ROOST’s ability to target as broad a reach of potential travelers as in past years.

“Fewer leads in 2010 is a direct result of the unfunded I Love New York Matching Funds program last year, which limited the number of leads generated from our Adirondack regional program,” said James McKenna, LPCVB/ROOST CEO. “This really highlights the value of pooling resources for cooperative regional marketing, which has resumed at a greater level in our 2011 strategy.”

The 2010 survey also garnered visitor profile data that was not collected in previous years. 80 percent of respondents reported that ecological or environmental sensitivity of the travel destination is either “important” or “extremely important”.

And this year marked the first time that social media (Facebook and Twitter) participants were surveyed. Initial results from this market represented a slightly lower age demographic, a higher interest in the hiking and paddling outdoor activities, and higher interest in the sub-regions of the county; substantially higher in the Lake Champlain region. The social media results are based on a small, but increasing percentage of the overall visitor database, and will serve as a valuable basis for comparison in future years.

The 2010 report, additional LPCVB/ROOST research and more is available for download at the online resource developed specifically for local tourism-related businesses. All are encouraged to review essential news, events, marketing opportunities and travel trends that impact the local tourism economy at www.roostadk.com.

Download: 2010 Leisure Travel Study (PDF)

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Empire State Winter Games 2012 event dates revealed

May 2nd, 2011 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Empire State Winter GamesLAKE PLACID, NY – The Empire State Winter Games organizing committee is pleased to announce that next year’s event will be held February 2-5.

The 2012 event will be longer than in previous years. The action will be extended from three to four days in order to accommodate an expanded field of sports and to allow time for a new educational component for student athletes, an addition based on the Youth Olympic Winter Games model. The event will include a torch run leading up to the opening ceremonies on Friday and a Festival of the Games celebration on Saturday.

“Last year, we were able to raise enough funds to ensure the Games would go on, and we were fortunate that the State had prepaid for some of the medals and uniforms,” said Craig Randall, Mayor of Lake Placid. “This year we are planning a bigger event for the athletes, and we’re starting from scratch and will incur larger costs, so we are launching a proactive fundraising effort now to secure sponsors.”

For more than 30 years, the Empire State Winter Games have provided athletes of all ages the opportunity to compete in the largest multi-sport amateur athletic winter sporting event in North America.

In 2011, a regional coalition collectively stepped forward to ensure that the event would be held following the announcement that budgetary constraints would force the cancellation of the competitions. An organizing committee representing the coalition includes officials from the Lake Placid Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Olympic Regional Development Authority, Essex County, Villages of Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, and Towns of Harrietstown, North Elba, St. Armand and Wilmington.

For more information about the 32nd Annual Empire State Winter Games, visit empirestatewintergames.com. Those interested in sponsorship for the 2012 event should contact Kathy Pfohl at 518.523.2445 x110 or kathy@lakeplacid.com.

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Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism announces 2011 Board of Directors

February 15th, 2011 · No Comments · Adirondack News

ROOSTLake Placid, Adirondacks USA – The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism/Lake Placid CVB is pleased to announce the results of the 2011 Board of Directors election.

Over the last 60 years, the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism has evolved from the Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce, providing traditional business services and tourism promotion, to the accredited Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for Lake Placid and Essex County through traditional marketing efforts, communications, and destination planning.


The board of directors, responsible for governing the organization, is comprised of 15 individuals, with at least one director from each of the four tourism regions in Essex County; the Lake Placid/High Peaks, Lake Champlain, Schroon Lake and Whiteface regions. The 2011 slate of officers are as follows: Chair, Justin Smith, Northwoods Inn and Prestige Hospitality Group; Vice Chair, Ed Finnerty, Champlain National Bank; Second Vice Chair, Joe Kelly, Glens Falls National Bank; Treasurer, Mike Beglin, Beglin’s Jewelers, and Secretary Jenn Webb, Golden Arrow Resort.

Newly elected Directors include Beth Hill, Executive Director at Fort Ticonderoga; the Lake Champlain Region representative, and Bob Hockert, owner of Little Peak Chalet and Clearwater Camp vacation rentals, and the Whiteface Region’s board representative. Joe Kelly was reelected to a second term, and is the Schroon Lake Region representative.

They join sitting Directors Deborah Fitts, Lake Placid Sinfonietta; Mary Ann Hawley, Parajax, Inc.; Kate Fish, Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA); Deb McLean, the UPS Store, Jamie Rogers, energy program coordinator at ANCA; Charlie Cowan, financial consultant with Janney Montgomery Scott; and Carol Brown, president of North Country Community College.

“With representatives from diverse facets of the business community, including lodging, retailers, financial institutions, attractions, the arts and educators, the Board of Directors represents a broad range of perspectives and expertise,” said James McKenna, CEO of the DMO. “Our Board commits a lot of time on behalf of the work that we do to promote our destinations, and we extend our gratitude to them all, with special recognition to our outgoing Director, Don Poulsen of Swedish Hill Winery for his dedication.”

“I’m proud to be part of this great team of dedicated volunteers, and excited and optimistic about 2011, said board chair Justin Smith. “With the upcoming opening of the new Conference Center at Lake Placid, and other positive momentum such as the destination planning projects throughout the County, it promises to be a terrific year for our organization and the destinations we represent.”

The election took place during the business portion of the members’ annual meeting on January 31. The business meeting was adjourned, to be reconvened with the social portion this spring in celebration of the opening of the new Conference Center at Lake Placid.

The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism is a private, 501c6 not-for-profit corporation. Most recently doing business as the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau, the organization has continuously evolved to stay ahead of the changing destination marketplace. Marketing partner news and resources can be found on the organization’s website, www.roostadk.com.

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