Officials: Empire State Winter Games a success

Officials involved with a grassroots effort to host the Empire State Winter Games are pleased with the outcome of this year's event.

This is the first time in the history of the games that it was not organized and funded by the state of New York. Instead, a regional coalition of local governments, organizations and private businesses hosted the event - and the results are being hailed as a success.

Jim McKenna is president and CEO of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism and the Lake Placid Convention and Visitors Bureau.

He says more time is needed to analyze what went right and what went wrong - but overall, the Empire State Winter Games Organizing Committee is thrilled.

"Looking back, it's only been two days since the games have been over, and we've gotten pretty positive feedback from athletes and the general public," McKenna said. "Those are the indicators we're going to be looking at."

Officials also say the games went off without a hitch.

"We didn't really here of too many areas where we had difficulties," McKenna said. "Right now, we can say 'yes, things seemed to go off pretty well.'"

The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announced late last year that New York could no longer afford to host the popular winter and summer games.

Without state support, it appears the Empire State Winter Games will be able to continue and thrive nonetheless.

Leading up to last weekend's event, organizers said operating costs were running in the black. Most of the money used to host the games was raised through local government donations and private sector support.

McKenna says it's too early to start estimating the impact the games had on the local economy. In past years, the games generated an economic impact of about $1 million.

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