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First look at new base lodge

ORDA taps Rochester company for Mount Van Hoevenberg upgrades

May 31, 2019
By ANDY FLYNN - Editor ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - A modern, three-story brown-brick lodge filled with spacious, sun-drenched lounges, a cafe and gift shop - that's what a Rochester-based contractor has been selected to make a reality at Mount Van Hoevenberg.

The board of New York's Olympic Regional Development Authority, which manages state winter sports venues, unanimously decided Wednesday, May 22, to award a contract for the design and construction of the new base lodge at Mount Van Hoevenberg to the Pike Company.

The contract will be forwarded to the state comptroller's office for final approval before work at the site can begin. An ORDA spokesman deferred comment about the price tag attached until the contract had been OK'd by the comptroller's office.

Article Photos

A video by Pike Companies shown at the ORDA board meeting Wednesday, May 22 shows a visual concept of what the base lodge at Mount Van Hoevenberg may look like.
(Provided photo — Olympic Regional Development Authority)

"Several" companies submitted bids for the project, ORDA Marketing Vice President Scott Christiansen said. The Pike Company has completed work in Lake Placid before, most recently on the Conference Center addition to the Olympic Center, which includes the 1932 and 1980 Olympic arenas. Pike was also responsible for constructing the new Marriott Courtyard Hotel in Lake George, as well as upgrades to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility in Canton and the U.S. Port of Entry in Champlain.


Base lodge vision

ORDA's concept for the new base lodge at Mount Van Hoevenberg is a joint building with the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation with amenities for hikers, biathletes and Nordic ski enthusiasts alike, according to ORDA CEO Michael Pratt.

The new lodge would be located near the end of the bobsled-luge-skeleton track and a new trailhead to Cascade and Porter mountains. It's expected to include a third-floor outlook area where visitors can watch bobsled teams practice, an area for retail, as well as several lounge areas and amenities for hikers.

Beyond the new lodge, other work slated at Mount Van Hoevenberg includes the construction of a new cross-country ski stadium and two "mountain coasters," one for recreation and another for transportation; the addition of more cross-country ski trails and updated trailheads - relocated away from state Route 73 - that would connect to Cascade, Porter and Pitchoff mountains; and the incorporation of a new 8-million gallon snowmaking reservoir with storage.

Paired with construction of the lodge, those upgrades are expected to cost $40-50 million.

Pratt said that Mount Van Hoevenberg is "shovel ready" and that work at the site can begin soon.

Construction at Mount Van Hoevenberg is projected to last roughly 26 months, he said. The new base lodge is expected to open in the winter of 2021, and the other work at the site, including the installation of new trails and stadium construction, is scheduled for completion in 2021 or 2022.


Many projects underway

In the latest state budget, $80 million was allocated to ORDA for the preservation and restoration of winter sports venues. The year before, the authority had gotten $60 million for those purposes. The cash came as ORDA officials eyed upgrades to prepare the aging facilities - many of which were built for the 1980 Olympic games - to facilitate the 2023 Winter World University Games, or the Winter Universiade, which is expected to draw 2,500 student-athletes and delegates to the region.

Site work has already begun at the Olympic Jumping Complex, including the installation of a gondola, zipline, refrigerated frost rail system and regrading of the landing hills.

The elevator at the top of Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway reopened on Saturday, May 25 after being closed since 2017 for reconstruction. Plans are nearing completion for updates to the Olympic Center, including the installation of new LED lighting and seating in the 1980 arena. Altogether, ORDA is planning to kick-start roughly $78 million worth of projects in the 2019-20 fiscal year.



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