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Rafting the Hudson River. Photo: Beaver Brook Outfitters
Rafting the Hudson River. Photo: Beaver Brook Outfitters

Will Cuomo tap Indian Lake for Adk Challenge?

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In his State of the State address in January, Governor Andrew Cuomo promised a whitewater challenge for the Adirondacks. The Challenge would promote the region, he said, and attract thousands of visitors to the area.

But the event's been a mystery. The governor and his administration have remained tight-lipped, providing no details about his plans.

But the long wait for specifics may be over soon, as an announcement is expected within a week.

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Reported by

Andy Flynn
Adirondack Correspondent

North Creek businesses are preparing for the annual Whitewater Derby next weekend. Many thought the governor would place his Adirondack Challenge here on the Hudson River in northern Warren County. But they were wrong, at least for now.

The typical whitewater rafting trip through the wild and scenic Hudson Gorge may end in North River. But it begins in the town of Indian Lake, on the Indian River in Hamilton County. And it looks like that's where the Adirondack Challenge will be held.

On the tentative schedule, acquired by the North Creek News Enterprise, events would be held in Indian Lake. Not during the spring whitewater season, but on July 21, in the peak of the summer tourist season.

The governor's office and I Love New York officials would not confirm or deny the date or the place. And most town, tourism and rafting officials would not comment on the agenda, saying the governor would be making an official announcement sometime next week. But Gore Mountain Region Chamber of Commerce director Lisa Salamon was at a recent meeting for the festival. And she says the Challenge is tapped for Indian Lake, not North Creek. But she'll still be busy.

"Since we have all the feet on the ground here, we'll obviously be doing a couple of things. One, helping get the festival off the ground, especially with lodging and accommodations. If we're going to have a big influx of people, obviously they're going to have to stay somewhere."

Everyone contacted for this story said the state is finalizing details before the governor makes his announcement.

Tentative plans include a river race with 25 rafts, for the governor, other elected officials and invited guests. There would be a flatwater race and a festival with food, music and an awards ceremony hosted by the governor. It would be called the Adirondack Challenge Kickoff Festival, and I Love New York would be in charge of marketing.

In its first year, a July festival would set the stage for an Adirondack Challenge next spring, when whitewater rafting conditions are usually better. Maybe then the governor would include North Creek in its whitewater rafting plans, as many here were hoping.

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