Funding New York’s State-Run Ski Areas

OpEd: Funding NY State Run Ski ResortsA recent editorial in the Glens Falls Post Star asked the question: “How much longer can New York taxpayers continue to subsidize ski centers at Whiteface and Gore Mountain?”

The next paragraph yielded a vague response: “It’s time for state officials to rethink the financial and ownership model that has sustained them for the past 30 years.”

With a sluggish economy and state and local tax revenues in decline, there’s no question that public funding for everything is becoming problematic. While the editorial poses a legitimate question, it ignores some important issues, and has logical inconsistencies that make it hard to take seriously.

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Gore Mountain Lodge Improvements

Last year, the board of directors for ORDA, New York’s Olympic Regional Development Authority, authorized Ted Blazer to negotiate a new contract with Centerplate, the concessionaire for the authority.

Gore Mountain Lodge and Tannery Pub

Part of the deal requires Centerplate to invest in the ORDA venues. Gore Mountain is targeting the public lodges for this capital improvement.

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Belleayre Coalition Cautiously Supports ORDA Plan

Belleayre logoThis past week, reports surfaced that the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) was exploring taking over the management of the Catskills’ troubled state-owned and -operated ski area, Belleayre. Thursday, in a press release, Coalition to Save Belleayre Chairman Joe Kelly cautiously endorsed this possibility. He called this moment “a turning point,” and went on to add that the DEC is “too busy and too distracted to properly operate a ski facility.”

In an interview on NYSkiBlog last year, Kelly’s frustration with DEC management of Belleayre was quite clear. While not directly suggesting that ORDA run Belleyare, he touched upon how a closer working relationship with the authority could benefit all three state-owned mountains.

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