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ORDA looking forward to 2013 winter sports season

Whiteface Mountain ski area in Wilmington.

Whiteface Mountain ski area in Wilmington. © ORDA/Dave Schmidt

— “Once you get that door open, people will start coming in, and things will start to get a lot easier” Blazer said.

This season will be Belleayre’s first under ORDA’s operation. They acquired management of the resort, located in Highmount in the Catskill Park, earlier this year from the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

Blazer said snowmaking and grooming improvements made for this year have been integral to the early openings and will keep people coming back to the resorts.

ORDA also has big plans for the Conference Center at Lake Placid, which is expected to bring in 12,760 people next year. Events there include the New York State Snowmobile Association, the Ironman competition and the New York State School Boards Association.

Blazer said the conference center has been instrumental in bringing people to the region — the recent Can/Am hockey tournament brought in 5,000 people, and the 2013 Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships, which begins Jan. 30, is expected to bring in 2,300 athletes.

Some improvements have been made to existing properties, too.

Offices at the cross-country ski area at the Olympic Sports Complex, Mt. Van Hoevenberg, were renovated to accommodate more guests.

“What we’ve done is we’ve opened it up and Adirondacktized it,” Blazer said.

Instead of desks and office chairs, the building will now be used as a ski lodge, with couches and chairs, wooden tables and outdoor-inspired decor.

Renovations to the 1932 Rink at the Olympic Center have also been completed, returning the building to its former glory.

Aside from improvements at home, ORDA is running Coke Wednesdays. Visitors to any of ORDA’s three ski centers can get a $30 lift ticket if they bring a coke product with them on select Wednesdays.

Advertising in Canada has also increased, most notably with a “mobile billboard,” which drives around Montreal and displays a projected video advertising Whiteface Mountain on the side of buildings.

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