July 16, 2017
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Success of Fifth Annual Adirondack Summer Challenge

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Success of Fifth...

New I LOVE NEW YORK Television Ad Unveiled, Promoting Tourism Destinations Across the Adirondack Region

Lake Placid Chosen to Host 2019 International Children’s Games and the 2021 Bobsled and Skeleton World Championships

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the success of the 2017 Adirondack Summer Challenge, promoting the world-class tourism destinations and recreational opportunities in Upstate New York. This year’s Challenge was the fifth annual Adirondack summer event hosted by the Governor, showcasing outdoor activities available to visitors in the region, including hiking, golfing and horseback riding. 

"The Adirondacks are one of New York's most treasured resources, with exquisite natural beauty, thrilling recreational activities, and our investments to promote and enhance these assets to attract even more visitors and revenue to the region," Governor Cuomo said. "To know the North Country is to love the North County and the Adirondack Challenge is a premiere showcase for all that this great region has to offer."‎

Audio Photos

"The majestic Adirondack Mountains have long been the meeting grounds for both summer and winter athletic competitions, so it is a fitting location for the Adirondack Summer Challenge," said Lieutenant Governor Hochul. "More and more world-class sporting organizations are recognizing the grandeur of one of New York’s favorite vacation destinations by staging their championship competitions here, bringing more tourism dollars to New York’s North Country."

The 2017 Adirondack Summer Challenge welcomed more than 400 guests, including Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul; state and local officials, including Empire State Development President and CEO Howard Zemsky, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Senator Betty Little, Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos; and tourism industry leaders to Hamilton and Warren Counties for a day filled with outdoor activities. Events hosted today included: rafting on the Indian River; horseback riding and fly-fishing along the majestic Cedar River; a 130-mile motorcycle ride through scenic Adirondack communities; nine holes of golf at Cedar River Golf Club in Indian Lake; a guided hike to OK Slip Falls, the highest waterfall in the Adirondacks; and kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding. The day concluded with a Taste NY food and beverage reception at Gore Mountain.

VIDEO of the awards ceremony will be available here.

B-ROLL highlights of the day here

PHOTOS of Challenge participants in various events are available here.

Adirondack Tourism 

Following the Challenge, Governor Cuomo unveiled a new 30-second I LOVE NEW YORK television spot promoting summer tourism in the Adirondacks. The ad showcases the region’s diverse recreational and family-friendly activities, including the gold medal excitement of a bobsled run at Lake Placid’s Olympic Sports Complex, the unparalleled views atop Whiteface Mountain, and the quiet serenity of Great Camp Sagamore on Raquette Lake. The ad can be viewed on YouTube here

Last year, nearly 12 million people visited the Adirondack region – 250,000 visitors more than the previous year – generating nearly $1.35 billion in direct visitor spending. This represents a 3.4 percent spending increase over 2015, and a nearly 14 percent increase since 2011. In addition, regional tourism generated $169.4 million in State and local taxes last year. The tourism industry supports more than 21,000 jobs and $639 million in labor income annually in the Adirondacks. 

Since taking office in 2011, Governor Cuomo has made unprecedented investments in the tourism industry throughout the state. In 2016, New York welcomed a record 239 million visitors who spent nearly $65 billion, generating a total economic impact of more than $100 billion for the third straight year. Additionally, tourism remains the state’s fourth largest employer, supporting more than 914,000 jobs annually.

2017 Adirondack Challenge

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s dedication to New York State’s tourism destinations we’re breaking records statewide, with big increases in visitor spending leading to job creation. I encourage everyone to plan a trip to experience the picturesque beauty and endless recreational opportunities of the Adirondacks firsthand." 

“As we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Adirondack Park, it’s clear Governor Cuomo’s ambitious agenda to protect and promote the areas incredible natural resources is paying off,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.  “Through the Governor’s leadership, DEC’s staff are working tirelessly every day to steward and improve access to the Park’s amazing tourism assets and which is essential to helping local communities capitalize on their economic potential.”

Global Sporting Events

Governor Cuomo today announced that the Lake Placid region has been chosen to host two major upcoming global sporting events: the 2019 International Children’s Games and the 2021 Bobsled and Skeleton World Championships. In January 2019, young athletes, coaches and staff from more than 50 cities from around the world are expected to compete in the eighth International Children’s Winter Games. Established in 1968, the International Children’s Games are officially recognized and supported by the International Olympic Committee. There have been 49 Summer Games and seven Winter Games and this will mark the first time that the winter event will be held on U.S. soil. Up to 2,000 athletes, coaches, and friends and family will be attending the event, which will be held from January 6 – January 11.

Lake Placid was also recently awarded the 2021 Bobsled and Skeleton World Championships, beating out St. Moritz, Switzerland, which was seeking to host a world championship race for the 23rd time. The February 2021 event is the last world championship race before the Beijing Olympic Winter Games. Lake Placid has hosted the world bobsled and skeleton championships 10 times. The last time was in 2012, when Team USA raced to three world championship titles and five total medals.

Olympic Regional Development Authority President and CEO Michael Pratt said, “ORDA looks forward to hosting these International athletes in competition at our Venues. The many sporting events we host are very exciting, particularly these diversified multi-sport events. The bobsled and skeleton World Championships are a Lake Placid favorite and the crew at Mt. van Hoevenberg is thrilled to again host the best in the world.”

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