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News stories tagged with "orda"

ORDA has new chairman, but he's a familiar face

The former chairman of the New York State's Republican Party is taking the helm of the state Olympic Regional Development Authority. Pat Barrett sat in as chair of ORDA's board of directors during their meeting on Tuesday. According to the Albany Times Union, Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to name Barrett to fill the post permanently. Chris Morris has details.  Go to full article

Whiteface workers rally for wages

As this winter's ski season gets underway, many unionized workers at the Olympic Regional Development Authority in the Adirondacks still don't have a contract. Union leaders say wages are so low, many of the full-time workers still qualify for public assistance. They led a a small rally at Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington on opening day of the season Friday.  Go to full article

New Lake Placid Conference Center on schedule

Work continues on a multimillion dollar conference center in Lake Placid. Local officials say will provide a huge boost to the area's economy when it needs it the most - during the spring and the fall. Construction of the new, 56,000-square foot facility, which was on hold for nearly two months this year due to the state's budget crisis, is now scheduled to be completed in March. Chris Knight toured the construction site with officials from the state Olympic Regional Development Authority and filed this report.  Go to full article
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (Source:  Gillibrand)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (Source: Gillibrand)

Sen. Gillibrand: government-backed loans can liberate rural economies

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand made a swing through the North Country last week, making stops in Watertown and Lake Placid.

The freshman senator heard dozens of requests for federal funding for local projects in the region.

But with the national debt soaring, Gillibrand argued that the best way to spend local dollars may be by boosting loans and incubator efforts for small businesses.

Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article

ORDA secures state funding, for now

The state Olympic Regional Development Authority has secured its annual appropriation from the state, but its budget difficulties may be just beginning. In budget bills approved this week, the state Legislature set aside $5.6 million for ORDA, which operates Whiteface Mountain and Gore Mountain ski centers and the 1980 Winter Olympic venues in Lake Placid. That's about $1 million less than the authority received last year, and about $3 million less than what was allocated for ORDA two years ago. At a board meeting in Lake Placid this week, some ORDA officials said that if they're forced to absorb additional cuts, the authority's venues and the communities that ORDA supports could be impacted. Chris Knight reports.  Go to full article
Gov. David Paterson
Gov. David Paterson

Governor proposes deeper cuts and state-worker furloughs

Governor David Paterson recommends one-day-a-week furloughs for state workers until the state budget, now nearly one month late, is completed. The governor is also cutting spending and raising revenues by $620 million, and asking the legislature to act immediately on his budget. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

Small ski areas thrive in sluggish season

As ski center managers in the Adirondacks close the books on another winter season, some are reporting an increase in skier visits and revenue. Others say they've had about the same or fewer numbers of visitors compared to last year. Chris Knight looks back on the winter of 2009-2010, including one of the biggest success stories of the winter - the reopening of two smaller, community-centered ski areas.  Go to full article

Olympic athletes lobby for ORDA Funding

The only firm plan on today's agenda at the state Legislature is for the Senate to give final approval of Gov. David Paterson's emergency bare-bones budget plan. The budget is supposed to be in place by April 1, but lawmakers plan to take their Passover-Easter break this week.

They're wrangling over a spending plan that includes some of the deepest cuts ever in school aid and other areas to contend with the state's fiscal crisis. The latest competing proposals are $1 billion apart. The state's fiscal health is in the balance. So are facilities and services considered vital to communities across the North Country: from parks to prisons, to ski hills.

Friday, local athletes just back from competing in the Vancouver Olympics were in Albany fighting for Lake Placid's Olympic venues. Chris Knight reports.  Go to full article
Gore mt. is an economic engine for Warren County.
Gore mt. is an economic engine for Warren County.

ORDA cuts appear less likely

The state Assembly issued its proposed spending blueprint yesterday. Democratic leaders there proposed saving the Ogdensburg Correctional Facility. They also called for full funding for the Olympic Regional Development Authority. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
Gore Mountain is an economic engine for Warren County
Gore Mountain is an economic engine for Warren County

Local leaders react angrily to proposed ORDA cuts

The state Senate is proposing to eliminate more than $6 million in subsidies for the Olympic Regional Development Authority. ORDA operates two ski mountains in the Adirondacks, in Wilmington and North Creek. The state agency also operates the Olympic venues in Lake Placid.

ORDA Chairman Joe Martens told WNBZ radio that the proposed cuts would be devastating. "ORDA's annual state subsidy is $6-7 million. It's been going down for the last couple years," he said. "If that cut stays intact, we'd have to close all of the venues because none of the venues expect Whiteface and Gore make money. But what they do is they bring in hundreds of events every year that fills to hotel rooms and restaurants."

If accepted, the legislative budget would eliminate 20% from ORDA's operating budget of $30 million. Local government leaders have been reacting with shock to the idea that state support for ORDA's operations might be zeroed out. An ORDA study in 2008 found that the Olympic-region venues sparked more than $300 million in tourism activity every year. Brian Mann spoke with Sterling Goodspeed, town supervisor in Johnsburg, which is home to ORDA's Gore Mountain ski area.  Go to full article

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