LAKE PLACID - Residents of the Olympic Region will now have a golden opportunity as the Olympic venues throughout the area get ready to re-open for the summer.
The state Olympic Regional Development Authority has come up with a plan that will allow locals to have unlimited access to the Olympic venues - the Olympic Jumping Complex, including the Summer Jumping Series; the Olympic Sports Complex, Olympic Museum, Veterans' Memorial Highway and the Whiteface Mountain Cloudsplitter gondola rides.
"It's going to be great for our local residents who are our best ambassadors of all the Olympic venues," ORDA spokesman Jon Lundin told the News. "It will give locals a chance to visit the venues on more than one occasion, and they will be able to bring family and friends to enjoy them too. Most of all, it's a great way for the locals to be great ambassadors of the venues."
"I think it's a great idea," said Michelle Burns, operations manager for the Whiteface Region Business and Tourism Center. "There are many of us who live here who have family and friends who come to visit and we want to show off all the great places there are here."
"This means that we can return time and time again and truly be able to experience these venues and be able to brag about them," Burns added. "It's amazing the amount of locals there are who don't take advantage of what we have right in our own backyard because of the expense. The Gold Pass will help them do that. It will allow people in the area to take in the beauty of the mountains for all four seasons."
The Gold Pass will cost $79 and can also be used for admission to Oktoberfest, the Flaming Leaves Festival, Saturday Night ice shows, selected events and 20-percent off the Lake Placid Bobsled Experience and Skeleton Experience.
"Over the years, many people, especially locals, have been asking for a way to 're-enter' ORDA's venues to bring visiting friends and family to events and activities without having to pay for themselves every time. We wanted to create something that made it easy and convenient for locals to get access to our venues and as many times as they want," ORDA president/CEO Ted Blazer said in a press release. "The Gold Pass makes perfect sense."
The Gold Pass is available at Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington. One of the most popular attractions is the gondola ride at the ski area, and that venue opens for the season June 14.
The scenic highway opens May 17 and bobsled rides begin on May 18.
ORDA also sells the Olympic Sites Passport, which is geared toward visitors. The Passport costs $32 and gives one-time admission to all the Olympic venues plus discounts on the Lake Placid Bobsled Experience, Be a Biathlete, as well as event tickets and shows.
For more information and details and/or purchase of both the passes, visit www.whitefacelakeplacid.com.