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Don’t give up on third Olympics

August 18, 2016
Lake Placid News

To the editor:

Over the last few months, there has been a lot of talk and interesting news articles in Canada about Calgary's interest in bidding for the 2026 Winter Olympics, and how Calgary could successfully invest and host the Winter Olympics on a relatively economical budget. Not very different reasoning for why/how Lake Placid-New York could do it.

If Lake Placid would consider a joint bid with New York City, the investment/costs would be even less as all major stadiums (which could be used for the big spectator events such as ceremonies and ice events) are in place in New York City. In addition, Lake Placid and the whole Adirondack area, more so than a "major city" would benefit in the very long term from "outdoor/recreational/sports" tourism year around. Not just as a city/place that hosted the Olympics, rather it would cement its place as one of the top areas in the world for year around outdoor, recreational and sports tourism.

The infrastructure spending required for public transport would be well worth it. Even without an Olympic event, the region needs a much more efficient public transport network (i.e. high-speed rail, bus and regional flights) to/from the Adirondacks and the bigger Metro areas. Numerous studies show that the millennials who will make up the future of our tourism prefer public transport rather than driving their own cars. If it takes 8 to 10 hours by bus to get here from the New York metro area, and even longer from other East Coast metro areas, how are we going to expect the millennials to choose the Adirondacks over other destinations? A flight to Colorado or Utah from New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia or Washington, D.C. is faster and not necessarily more expensive than a bus ride to the Adirondack region.

This applies to summer tourism as well. We may not have an ocean beach, but we've got beautiful lakes, beaches, rivers, mountains, scenic roads, fishing, and a great summer climate, and can compete with any other summer destination for tourism!

While the US Olympic Committee has stated it is 100 percent focused on Los Angeles 2024 and not interested in considering a Winter Olympic bid at this time, one has to believe that sooner or later the USOC will consider a Winter Olympic bid. It may not be for 2026, but what about 2030? Any investment made by New York state, the Lake Placid and the Adirondack region now in exploring a possible bid for a future Winter Olympics would not be a wasted effort, even if it is not for the 2026 Olympics.

I encourage our elected and local leaders to continue their efforts in "exploring" a possible bid. Let us not give up on a big dream and another "Miracle" just because the USOC is not ready. What if Los Angeles doesn't get the 2024 Summer Olympics, which will be decided in September 2017? Hopefully the USOC quickly would turn their agenda into exploring a 2026 or a 2030 Winter Olympics bid, so let's be ready and prepared!

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Knut Sauer

Jay, NY



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