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New York state budget gives $105M for ORDA venues

LAKE PLACID — New York’s new budget, passed by the state Legislature on April 7, includes $105 million in new capital funding for the state Olympic Regional Development Authority.

The money in the 2021-22 budget is about $39.5 million less than what the state approved last year. The funding will again go toward improvements to sports venues ORDA manages in the Adirondacks and Catskills parks ahead of the 2023 World University Games in Lake Placid.

Of the $105 million, $92.5 million is for “a strategic upgrade and modernization plan to support improvements to the Olympic facilities and ski resorts with a focus on preparing for the 2023 World University Games,” according to ORDA Vice President of Marketing Scott Christiansen.

“Those venues would include Gore Mountain, Mount Van Hoevenberg, the Olympic Ski Jump Complex and Whiteface,” he wrote in an email. “Additionally, the Olympic Center will also receive capital in preparation of (World University Games) as well as other planned projects.”

The remaining $10 million is earmarked for “critical maintenance and energy efficiency upgrades” for all of ORDA’s venues, as is another $2.5 million from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation budget, according to Christiansen.

In recent years New York’s governor and Legislature have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in upgrading the Lake Placid area’s 1980 Winter Olympic venues in advance of the Winter World University Games. The Olympic Center and Olympic Speedskating Oval are currently being overhauled, the ski jumps are getting new outruns in addition to recent improvements, and the Nordic ski center at Mountain Van Hoevenberg has seen an $80 million overhaul.