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North Country News

Upgrades And Renovations To Olympic Facilities In Lake Placid Begin

The Olympic Regional Development Authority is beginning renovation of several of its Olympic sites after a $70 million appropriation for capital improvements was approved in the new New York state budget.
Permits have been approved and contracts awarded for upgrades at the Olympic Ski Jumping complex in Lake Placid.  ORDA Spokesman Jon Lundin says the last upgrades to the ski jumps came back in 1994.  “In order for you know Lake Placid to continue to be a player in international competition and in this case ski jumping you know we need to continue to make sure that these ski jumps are up to the international standards that will attract, whether it be national competition major international competitions like a World Cup, or you know we’re looking forward to 2023 and the World University Games.”

The project includes new infrastructure for the jumps such as the installation of frost rails that maintain a consistent surface.  Underground infrastructure is being upgraded and the outrun landing hills are being redesigned.  New amenities for visitors will be created. The chairlift will be replaced with a new gondola.  A new glass enclosed elevator will take people to the top of the 120-meter jump, and a four-cable zip line adjacent to the ski jumps is planned.  Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism President Jim McKenna says the upgrades serve a dual purpose.  “That’s going to catapult us back into world class ski jumping. So from an athletic point of view and a world sports point of view that’s very significant.  The second thing is that you know the ski jumps are sort of a very iconic thing in this region. But it was built for athletes. Now with the gondola built in, with doing a new glass enclosed elevator and most importantly the zip line it will allow for some new visitor and traveler activities. And you know separating us from the crowd how many places in the world have a zip line coming off a ski jump? There is one other by the way.”

Lundin notes that as work begins at the ski jumps plans are moving forward to upgrade venues at Mt. Van Hoevenberg.  “We’ll soon begin capital projects at Mt. Van Hoevenberg the cross country venue. The big thing there is going to be the new base lodge which will serve as a welcome center, base lodge and a new start sliding facility for the sports of bobsled and skeleton. There’s going to be a biathlon-nordic stadium 5k worth of new trails as well. And this is twofold. One we’re doing this for sport.  We’re looking forward to the World University Games in 2023 and two to enhance the guest experience.”

The zip line, gondola and elevator projects are projected to be completed by the fall.  Renovations related to international sporting will continue through next year.  

During its upcoming May meeting, the Adirondack Park Agency will review modifications to previously authorized improvements at ORDA’s ski jumping complex.

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