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HISTORY IS COOL: 40 years ago

Dec. 18, 1980

Ski centers open

The first weekend of skiing saw both Whiteface and Paleface mountains enjoying a brisk crowd of early season schussers.

After several years of limited operation, Paleface opened its slopes under new management. Manager Barry Robinson said the mountain had about 250 skiers coasting over its lower slopes last weekend, including night skiing on Friday and Saturday.

“Everything ran smoothly for our first weekend of operation,” he said. “But because this is our first year of operation here, we really don’t know what to expect. We have no yardstick for comparison.”

Mr. Robinson said the after-ski business in Paleface’s lounge was very good — especially after night skiing.

By mid-week, he said the entire lower mountain will be open with the beginner and intermediate trails in excellent condition. However, he said more natural snow will be needed to open the expert trails on the upper mountain.

Entering its 23rd season, Whiteface is once again open for the international skier after an Olympic year of limited public operation.

Between 400 and 500 skiers took to the slopes each day this past weekend, according to Manager Bob Paron. He was “quite pleased” with the turnout and compared the numbers to a typical first weekend of past seasons. The heavy influx of skiers does not come until Christmas, he continued.

Boasting new lifts, improved trails and a snowmaking system capable of covering the entire mountain, Whiteface has the finest facilities in the eastern United States.

All $14 million in Olympic improvements installed by the state are now available to the recreational skier, he said.

The mountain was open only from midstation down the lower valley run last weekend. By midweek, Mr. Paron said additional trails will be put in operation.

Olympic bailout

The U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday killed a bill containing $2.75 million in bailout funding for the Lake Placid Olympic Organizing Committee.

The appropriations bill died because of a struggle between the House and Senate over pay raises for Congressmen and other federal officials. The House had approved the pay hikes, while the Senate side refused to approve the measure.

Congressman Robert C. McEwen of Ogdensburg, who fought to gain the original federal funding for Lake Placid in 1974, was “deeply disappointed” by the turn of events. A spokesman said:

“Because the Senate refused to approve the pay increases, the House decided to vote down most of the appropriations contained in the bill. The additional funds for Lake Placid were not the focus of objection, but rather just one portion of the larger bill that got shot down.”

Rep. McEwen and Rep. Sam Stratton, D-N.Y., made “empassioned pleas” on the House floor in the early morning hours Tuesday, asking colleagues for a separate bill providing the LPOOC with the funds needed to stave off bankruptcy.