LAKE PLACID – Village officials, as well as the community, are divided as to whether they think the Ironman triathlon should return to Lake Placid in 2022.
The Regional Office for Sustainable Tourism, the city in the north of the Elbe, the village of Lake Placid and Ironman usually sign a multi-year contract which guarantees the return of the triathlon to this region. This contract must now be renewed, and it is less clear this year whether local authorities will decide to renew it. If renewed, ROOST – which is funded largely by contracts with municipalities and Essex County occupancy tax revenue – would pay Ironman $ 90,000 to bring the event back to 2022. Ironman , in turn, typically contributes between $ 40,000 and $ 50,000 each year to local nonprofits.
As part of its evolution towards a “Destination management” approach – market the type of tourism that works best for the community and the visitor – ROOST held a community call to get feedback on the contract last week. The response from the community has been mixed. Some felt that Ironman had passed its welcome, some felt that Ironman should be moved to a different time of year so that it did not conflict with peak tourist season, and others expressed their unwavering support for the event and the athletes it attracts here.
The village council and city council are expected to authorize Mayor Art Devlin and Supervisor Jay Rand respectively to sign the contract with Ironman before it can be renewed.
“My opinion is that it is a pity that we did not have this destination management plan (before) and that this contract expires next year,” said Devlin. “At this point, I think we should extend it until the destination management plan can determine what’s best for the community. This is only my opinion.
A draft Lake Placid Destination Management Plan, which will essentially be a roadmap to balance the quality of life for residents and the quality of visitor experiences here, is expected to be completed by October.
Devlin also mentioned Ironman’s contribution to local nonprofits. Ironman typically contributes between $ 40,000 and $ 50,000 each year to local projects.
Administrator Marc Galvin, who co-owns Bookstore Plus on Main Street and the Blue Line Book Exchange, said he loves Ironman, although “It’s not the best event from a business point of view.
Local business owners are mixed about the impact of the triathlon. Mirror Lake Inn marketing director Chris Jarvis said last week he believed Ironman would be “More desirable at another time” of the year because right now it’s deterring vacationers, while Lake Placid Pub & Brewery owner Chris Ericson said he typically sees an increase in business during Ironman Weekend.
Galvin, who has a vacation rental in his Main Street apartment building, said he hosted a few people in the last two weeks of May who were in Lake Placid training before the triathlon.
“This is when they have time to do their shopping” he said. “It’s a world class event. I think Lake Placid is associated with it, we should be proud of that. “
Administrator Jason Leon, who is the technology coordinator at the Lake Placid Central School District, said Ironman “Must sell it”.
“I like the event, I like to attend it, I like the atmosphere and I like the day of the race”, he said. “But I can see where the community as a whole… some of the comments that said,“ Maybe it’s time to explore other options. “”
Leon said that if during the contract negotiations the event was “Made more beneficial for the community” he might be feeling different, but as it stands, he thinks Ironman should convince the village of why he should come back.
Administrator Jackie Kelly, who is also the conference center director for the state’s Olympic Regional Development Authority, said she would need to hear from more people before making a decision.
“I see the advantages and I see the disadvantages” she said.
Kelly said that Ironman is “waterproof” – which means it’s going to happen rain or shine – and that kind of reliability is one of the perks she sees.
“We have to take a lot of things into consideration”, she said.
Administrator Peter Holdereid, whose family owns the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort, said he “Above.”
“I was one of the biggest supporters (of Ironman), but there is no other event that affects the locals so much,” he said. “My family benefits tremendously, but not everyone, and we have to take their opinion into account as well. “
ROOST CEO Jim McKenna during the July 14 community call said Ironman officials would like to know if the contract will be renewed by this year’s race, which takes place this Sunday, July 25. But ROOST, North Elba and Lake Placid are “No obligation to make a decision so quickly”, he said.
Asked about this ruling request before July 25, Devlin said Monday he should discuss it with Rand and ROOST. Holderied said a decision seemed unlikely by then.
The Ironman Triathlon – which includes a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run – has been held in Lake Placid since 1999. Lake Placid has also hosted the Ironman 70.3 race for a few years. . Ironman 70.3 is not expected to return to Lake Placid for the foreseeable future, according to ROOST.