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Grumbling continues over events, upgrades, but that is healthy

August 1, 2019
Editorial , Lake Placid News

When we shared updates of the Ironman Lake Placid swim at Mirror Lake Sunday morning, July 28, on the Lake Placid News Facebook page, we weren't surprised to see a mix of people who support the event and those who are turned off - even angered - by it.

There are several issues being argued, but because Ironman completely takes over a major portion of the town for several days - not just race day - and athletes are training on our roads on their bicycles, transportation and parking are the main sticking points for detractors.

We encourage people to share their opinions, whether they like something or not. That's their right, and we're eager to hear different perspectives. We don't agree with all of them, but we don't expect to. The important thing is that people communicate, and that is happening - not so much on the Opinion page in our newspaper, but certainly on our Facebook page.

Article Photos

Volunteer 'strippers' help triathletes out of their swimming gear Sunday, July 28 on the Mirror Lake beach during the Ironman Lake Placid race.
(News photo — Andy Flynn)

The more people talk about their differences of opinion, the more likely we will find solutions to real problems that face our community.

Let's take a moment to put thoughts about Lake Placid's tourism industry in perspective. While we continue to reap the economic rewards of our 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic heritage, there is a perception from the visiting public that residents were all in favor of hosting the 1980 games. But that's not true. In the Oct. 16, 1973 referendum to pursue the 1980 Olympic bid, North Elba voters only approved the measure by 150 votes - 726 to 576. A majority, yes, by not a resounding endorsement with 44 percent of the votes against the idea.

Furthermore, when Lake Placid was chosen as the host of the 1980 Winter Olympics a year later, the News printed the reaction from some residents. As reported by Laura Viscome, the feelings were mixed:

"Disaster ... We couldn't cope with the traffic and the people." ... "Fabulous. It will put us on the map as a ski resort." ...You can't stop progress. I'm for progress." ... "Terrible." ... "Look what we'll have when the Olympics are over -?the greatest winter sports complex in the world." ... "I'll sell my business and leave town." ... "Overjoyed. Bound to help Lake Placid."

We saw a similar mixed bag of emotions on our Facebook page Sunday with regard to Ironman: "I think this nonsense needs to end. Give us back our town." ... "How many of the shops and restaurants and things we love would disappear if the tourists that enjoy them alongside us stopped coming?"

Then we had differing opinions on our Facebook page Tuesday when sharing news of ORDA's proposed $100 million improvements to the Olympic Center and Olympic Speedskating Oval: "Wow!! This is amazing!!!" ... "Why? This is ridiculous and completely unnecessary. One of THE most historic venues in the world."

Please, keep sharing your opinions. Send your letters to the editor by email to Editor Andy Flynn at There is a 500-word limit. You must include your name, city of residence and phone number in case we have questions.



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