Village approves Main Street closure, festival for FISU Games

Shuttles to run from show grounds to municipal lot

Gov. Kathy Hochul plays around with Adirondack Mac, mascot of the 2023 FISU Winter World University Games, Friday, July 29 at the Olympic Sports Complex while she unveils the Games schedule. (News photo — Lauren Yates)

LAKE PLACID — An event and closure plan for Main Street during the 2023 FISU Games has been approved.

The Lake Placid Village Board of Trustees last week approved a 10-day festival on Main Street, which will open and close with the Games — from Jan. 12 to 22.

The Main Street event will stretch from Brewster Park down to the Grand Adirondack Hotel. That segment of the road will be closed to vehicle access for the duration of the Games, with exceptions for residents and business owners who live within the closure.

Essex County shuttles and transportation services will continue to run alongside FISU shuttle services from the North Elba Show Grounds to Main Street, according to Lake Placid Police Chief Chuck Dobson. Essex County operates the free Placid Xprss and Mountain Valley shuttles that run through Lake Placid.

Festival details

The FISU festival on Main Street will feature medal ceremonies in Mid’s Park at 6 p.m. every night starting Jan. 13, with live music from acts like Annie in the Water, Marco Benvento and Mix Master Mike to follow. Smoke Signals will host late-night live music every night after the Mid’s Park activities wrap up, according to Michelle Preston, the festival village coordinator for the 2023 Games. The FISU cauldron will be placed in Brewster Park and unveiled on Dec. 12 ahead of the official lighting during the opening ceremony on Jan. 12. Main Street will be lined with exhibits and warming huts for cold nights, and while Preston encouraged businesses to bring their wares out to the sidewalks and interact with festival goers, the village board’s approval of the festival was pending an application for the sales.

The village approved the festival plan with some caveats. Village Attorney Janet Bliss said the village and the organizing committee were still ironing out insurance details and finalizing the placement of the warming huts. Bliss said either the local organizing committee for the Games — Lake Placid 2023 — or the Lake Placid Business Association also needs to seek permission from the village for the sidewalk sales. The organizing committee was still applying for a noise ordinance variance for the festival’s events, according to village Mayor Art Devlin, and the committee still needed to apply for a permit to put on a drone-powered fireworks display.

The Lake Placid 2023 committee’s original concept plan also included an exception to the village’s open container law — which would have allowed people to consume alcohol on Main Street if approved — but the village didn’t approve the exception.

The festival won’t allow competing outside vendors to sell products within the warming huts, where Lake Placid 2023 had originally proposed to sell Irish whiskey and other items. Business owners voiced opposition to the proposal at the first information session about the Games in October, and the organizing committee said they’d remove that part of their plan.

Devlin said last week that selling in the warming huts would only be open to existing Main Street establishments. To sell alcohol, those establishments would have to apply for a liquor license, he said, but Bliss added that there’s no “expected” use or sale of alcohol in the huts right now.

More details about the Lake Placid 2023 World University Games Main Street festival are available at tinyurl.com/3vytx8ym.

Main Street closure

The Lake Placid Police Department and the Lake Placid 2023 organizing committee created a Main Street closure plan to provide security for both the Games and the Main Street Festival. The closure plan includes two “hard closure points” — where there will be no vehicle access for the general public for the two-week span of the Games — along with some surrounding “soft closure” roads. Residents and business owners living within or near the closures could apply for a vehicle access parking pass, or a VAPP, to access hard closures between 2 a.m. and 10 a.m. daily and access soft closures anytime. The closure will begin at 9 a.m. on Jan. 12 and end at 9 a.m. on Jan. 23.

The festival’s hard closure will start at the High Peaks Resort — where Main intersects with Saranac Avenue — and end at the Grand Adirondack Hotel. The second hard closure, around the Olympic Center, will start at the post office — where Main intersects with Parkside Drive — and end where Main intersects with Cummings Road. Dobson said there would be no vehicle access on Olympic Drive, and he said Cummings Road would have “limited access” behind the Olympic Center.

Dobson said soft closures would include the portion of Main from the Grand Adirondack Hotel to Parkside Drive and from Cummings Road to Mirror Lake Drive.

People will still be able to access the post office by Parkside Drive. Dobson said post office visitors will be able to park in the building’s rear lot as well as in the parking spots in front.


It isn’t yet clear how people can apply for VAPPs or how many VAPPS each business can get for their employees. However, the village of Lake Placid plans to send out more information about the passes with residents’ December electric bill, according to local law enforcement along and elected and Games officials. Dobson said the mailer will have application instructions for the passes.

An estimated 200 to 220 parking spaces within the hard closure will be exclusively set aside for people with VAPPs. Around 100 of those spots will be in the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort parking lot, which will be accessible at all times by driving north on Parkside.

The remaining 100 to 120 parking spots will be in the upper NBT lot, according to Dobson, which will be accessible at all times by Marcy Road. Dobson said the village is allowing smaller delivery trucks to park there, too, which is why he provided a range of parking spots that will be available there for locals.

Dobson said the Lussi family, which owns the Crowne Plaza and Lake Placid Club golf course, will offer public parking around the Harbor Lane area and the Lake Placid Club. The Essex County trolley will run from these parking areas to the municipal parking lot on Main Street, according to Dobson.

There will also be 24/7 shuttles running from the North Elba Show Grounds to the municipal lot.

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