LAKE PLACID — Governor Kathy Hochul announced the completion of a $104 million renovation of the Lake Placid Olympic Center ahead of the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games, which will take place from January 12-22, 2023. The renovations, completed by the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority, include upgrades to the Olympic Center's year-round facilities, as well as an all-new retail shop, indoor and outdoor dining area, and a fully updated Lake Placid Olympic Museum, which will open tomorrow, Thursday, December 8. Together, these upgrades mark the completion of final preparations for the Games and will support future winter sporting events in Lake Placid.
"The transformation of the Lake Placid Olympic Center honors the region's rich winter sport history and cements its standing as a global winter sport destination for decades to come," Governor Hochul said. "With these renovations now complete, New York is officially ready to welcome athletes and spectators from all over the world to next year's World University Games. I look forward to seeing the new arenas, shops, and dining areas in-person next month, and I encourage all New Yorkers to buy their tickets to this once-in-a-lifetime sporting event."
The Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games are an 11-day multi-winter sports event and educational festival, which is expected to draw 1,500 athletes from more than 50 countries and 600 universities to compete in 12 winter sports and 86 medal events. Tickets to the Games are available at https://vivenu.com/seller/adirondack-sports-council-fskv.
Renovations to the Olympic Center, which is maintained and operated by ORDA, include revitalization of the 1980 Herb Brooks and 1932 Jack Shea Arenas, reconstruction of the James C. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval, an upgraded refrigeration plant, and larger, redesigned guest spaces. The venue's Miracle Plaza will also now have a new retail shop where visitors can purchase gifts and souvenirs and space for indoor and outdoor dining at Roamers Café with incredible views of the Adirondack High Peaks.
The Olympic Center will also house the newly renovated Lake Placid Olympic Museum, home to one of the world's largest collections of Winter Olympic memorabilia. The museum features interactive displays, 3D visualizations, experiential learning exhibits, and engaging displays and artifacts that help to tell the stories of Lake Placid's rich winter sports history and bold future.
The Olympic Center is one of the nation's preeminent sports facilities and serves as an anchor for Lake Placid and New York's North Country region. The Olympic Center hosted the 1932 and 1980 Olympic games, where the famous Miracle on Ice took place and where speedskater Eric Heiden won five gold medals, setting a world record. During the FISU World University Games, the Olympic Center will be the site for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, figure skating, speed skating, short track speed skating, and the men's and women's ice hockey medal rounds.
Over the last six years, New York State has invested over $550 million in ORDA's facilities, including $104 million in the Olympic Center, to help reposition the region as a global winter sport destination. The venues are open year-round for events, athlete training, and recreation, while providing world-class experiences and competitions. Last winter, New York welcomed 68.5 million visitors, generating more than $16.1 billion in direct visitor spending. Governor Hochul announced the start of the 2022-2023 ski season last month.
As a Host Partner to the FISU World University Games, ORDA has implemented significant sustainability measures at the venues that will be the site of most of the competitions. The Games' Save Winter initiative provides education and awareness surrounding environmental sustainability. An important aspect of the Games is the World University Conference, where speakers will present information about the initiatives and actions needed to support mitigating climate change. Together, the Host Partners and New York State are setting a new standard for future events with a commitment to the environment.
Michael Pratt, President & CEO of the Olympic Regional Development Authority, said, "The Olympic Regional Development Authority is one of the world's premiere Olympic legacy organizations. The transformations of the venues have been remarkable, assuring their value for athletes and visitors long into the future. We are proud stewards of these special New York State assets."
Empire State Development Vice President and Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, "The improvements and upgrades at the Olympic Center and Museum will not only provide a better guest experience for visitors attending the upcoming FISU World University Games, they will encourage future visits by travelers from across the world interested in the region's rich winter sports legacy. I LOVE NY looks forward to continuing to partner with our ORDA colleagues to showcase new ways that guests can come be a part of a gold medal experience in New York State."
Ashley Walden, Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games Organizing Committee Chief Operating Officer and Lake Placid Olympic Museum Board Member, said, "This is a very special moment as we get a glimpse of the future of the Olympic Center including the Museum, as a LPOM board member I am thrilled to see the museum come alive with new content and displays. Additionally, with just 36 days to the FISU World University Games, I am thrilled that all of the participants will have the opportunity to experience this unique piece of sporting history as they train and compete on the same venues as the likes of Eric Heiden, Mike Eruzione and Phil Mayer."
State Senator Dan Stec said, "The Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games will bring millions of eyes to our region. The renovations made to the Olympic Center were vital to ensuring Lake Placid is ready for the games. With the renovations completed, participants and visitors alike will be able to experience our Olympic history and with the coming games, create an exciting new history of their own."
Assemblymember Matt Simpson said, "New York State, the Olympic Regional Development Authority, and the many stakeholders who have come together to create a truly world class venue while doing so in a way that sets an international standard for world class ingenuity and environmental stewardship is a feat that all New Yorkers and citizens across the Country can be proud of. That we have created such a remarkable environment for athletes all over the world to compete and see their dreams come true brings a sense of pride that we can all share together. This is an historic moment for New York and I am thrilled for the opportunity to witness it come to fruition."
Lake Placid Mayor Art Devlin said, "The 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics put Lake Placid on the map. The FISU Games have been a catalyst that has brought necessary upgrades to our Village Main Street, private infrastructure, and sports facilities, now rejuvenated to state-of-the-art, world-class venues. These improvements will benefit the region for many years to come and have been made possible by the State of New York, under the guiding hand of Governor Hochul and the State's local arm in ORDA. With the Miracle Plaza's completion and the Museum opening, Lake Placid is again ready to welcome the world."