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Adirondack Challenge organizers critique event

Adirondack Challenge debrief meeting closes with the awarding of the events “Finish” banner to the Town of Indian Lake and Town Supervisor Brian Wells; (left to right) Brian McDonnell, Neil McGovern, Jeff Byrne, Bill Farber, Christine Pouch, Ross Levi, Jim McKenna, Brian Wells, Vonnie Liddle.

Adirondack Challenge debrief meeting closes with the awarding of the events “Finish” banner to the Town of Indian Lake and Town Supervisor Brian Wells; (left to right) Brian McDonnell, Neil McGovern, Jeff Byrne, Bill Farber, Christine Pouch, Ross Levi, Jim McKenna, Brian Wells, Vonnie Liddle. Photo by Bill Quinlivan.

— The flatwater event started and finished at the launch of the Indian Lake Islands Campground. McDonnell said the staff was terrific at both the Indian Lake Islands and the Lewey Lake campground, where more than one-half of the paddlers stayed.

“The pro races did exactly what we wanted,” McDonnell said. “Paddlers came from as far away as Florida, Michigan and Canada, with many of them going on to races in the country of Poland, and the state of Michigan and to compete in the Ausable River Marathon, and they will spread the word of the success of this event.”

From the positive side, it seemed organizers, town officials and residents alike agreed the event was a success with regard to the publicity that was garnered. That being said, plenty of feedback was given about what could and should have been.

The Disappointments

The Chamber’s Christine Pouch said the event was met with mixed reaction. Her assessment was supported by a number of issues voiced from Indian Lake residents and officials during the Aug. 6 meeting. There was a general sense of disappointment, which seemed to stem from uncontrolled and unfulfilled expectations. There was apparently room for improved communications about what would be happening, what the bottom-line nature and objectives of the event truly were and what interaction among the residents, local officials and Gov. Andrew Cuomo would occur, as well as, when and where.

Residents voiced expectations that Cuomo would be seen more in the town of Indian Lake. The governor was also expected to say something specific and positive about the town to the media. There was a feeling that the governor should have shown more acknowledgement of Indian Lake officials and generally should have provided a more personal touch with the residents and volunteers in the town. The biggest disappointment and economic impact seemed to come from the expectation that the governor would appear at Byron Park and conduct the award ceremony there. It was instead moved to the Gore Mountain ski center in North Creek.

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