ORDA venues benefited from solid snowfall

The state Olympic Regional Development Authority received 30,000 more visitors this winter than it did in the previous season.

ORDA estimates that as many as 480,000 people visited Olympic venues in Lake Placid, Wilmington and North Creek during the 2010-2011 season.

Last season there were about 450,000 visits to the venues, officials say. These numbers do not take into account CanAm Hockey, Canadian Hockey Enterprise and several group tours.

"This was a very strong winter for the Authority," said ORDA President and CEO Ted Blazer.

Blazer pointed to outstanding winter conditions and Whiteface Mountain's reputation as a top tier ski destination as the driving factors behind this year's success.

In October, Whiteface was chosen as the number one ski resort in the eastern United States by readers of both SKI Magazine and SnowEast Magazine. In March, About.com voters also chose the Olympic mountain as the top ski resort in the eastern United States.

Buoyed by a timely start to the skiing and riding season, which began Nov. 26, and more than 247 inches of natural snowfall, Whiteface counted nearly 210,000 skier days, an increase of more than 10 percent compared to last season. Revenue also increased at the mountain by more than 16 percent.

Gore also had more skier days this winter than last winter, as 189,395 skiers and riders took to the North Creek resort slopes. Those skiers and riders enjoyed 134 days on the mountain's 96 trails and 150 inches of natural snowfall.

In January, Gore celebrated the grand opening of the Hudson Chair and the completion of its interconnect with the historic North Creek Ski Bowl.

The Mt. Van Hoevenberg cross-country ski center drew 11,230 recreational skiers to its 50 kilometers of trails this winter. That's an increase of 7.92 percent when compared to last winter.

The combined bobsled/luge/skeleton track at Mt. Van Hoevenberg also remained quite busy. More than 13,000 people enjoyed the half-mile long public bobsled ride.

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