ALBANY Gov. Andrew Cuomo Wednesday, Jan. 9 proposed launching the Adirondack Challenge, a national whitewater rafting competition in the North Country, during his annual State of the State address.
It is not clear where in the North Country the Adirondack Challenge would be held, and although the governor hinted that a date was already set, nobody could be reached shortly after the speech to explain any details about the competition.
Cuomo made light of the rafting competition during his PowerPoint presentation while giving the speech, showing himself in a white raft with the state seal while he’s handling a motor and other notables — including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — in rafts.
“I hope the challenge is accepted, and I hope it is successful,” Cuomo said.
Warren County Tourism Director Kate Johnson said she didn’t have any details about the competition, but she remembered the governor mentioning it when he held a media day in September to show off the Boreas Ponds prior to the state’s imminent acquisition of the former Finch, Pruyn lands.
Adirondack Regional Tourism Council Executive Director Ron Ofner also had no details on the challenge or other parts of the governor’s speech. He referred questions to Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (formerly the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitor Bureau) Executive Director Jim McKenna, but he could not be reached.
Calls to the governor’s press office were not returned.
Market NY to Focus on Upstate Economic Development
Below is the text of the governor’s economic development proposal in his Jan. 9 speech.
•Taste-NY: The Taste-NY initiative will coordinate around promoting New York products, including creating duty-free "Taste-NY" stores across the state to promote New York grown and produced products.
•$5 Million Advertising Competition: A $5 million advertising competition for the best regional marketing plans will be launched, incentivizing counties to work together to forge regional synergies.
•The Adirondack Challenge: Noting that New York has some of the best whitewater rafting in the nation, the Governor proposed a national whitewater rafting competition to be held in the North Country.
•Destination Resorts/Casino Gaming: To increase upstate tourism, the Governor proposed a casino gaming plan that would locate up to three casinos in Upstate New York. Under the proposal, casino gaming revenue will be split 90% for education and 10% for local property tax relief.