Ski jump upgrade is underway

ORDA eyes autumn completion for new gondola, zipline, elevator

Decking of Lake Placid’s 90-meter ski jump is ripped off in April, in anticipation of new, refrigerating frost rails being installed to keep the ramp surface cold. (Photo provided by the Olympic Regional Development Authority)

LAKE PLACID — Officials with the state Olympic Regional Development Authority believe that a portion of roughly $3 million worth of upgrades to the Olympic Jumping Complex will be completed by autumn, and the rest wrapped up with plenty of time to spare before the 2023 Winter World University Games.

Those upgrades include the installation of refrigerated frost rail systems on the 90- and 120-meter jump inruns and regrading of the landing hills. Construction kicked off last month.

“The projects modernize the facility and improve our ability to host events and training for athletes,” ORDA President Mike Pratt said in a statement. “The venue’s guests will enjoy the new gondola, glass-enclosed elevator and zip lines too.”

All contracts have been awarded, and the necessary permitting has been completed.

The new frost rail system being installed now is designed to “maintain a consistent and reliable jumping service” for athletes, according to a news release from ORDA. Paired with new underground infrastructure at the landing hills, officials hope regrading at the site will cut down on the amount of snow needed for the facility to “achieve the desired profile.” Those two projects are expected to be completed by 2023, according to ORDA Public Relations Director Jon Lundin.

This image shows a zipline ride like one the state Olympic Regional Development Authority plans to install at the Olympic Jumping Complex in Lake Placid. (Image provided by ORDA)

A new zipline, eight-person gondolas replacing a chair lift, and glass elevator are slated for an autumn completion. They will improve accessibility and offer new recreational opportunities for visitors.

All of the above will open up the facility to year-round activities, with the overall goal to make the operation less weather dependent overall, ORDA Public Relations Director Jon Lundin said.

The work is being funded by a $80 million state cash infusion into ORDA approved as part of the latest state budget. ORDA officials hope to use the money in part to prepare aging facilities in the area to facilitate the 2023 Winter World University Games, or the Winter Universiade, which is expected to draw 2,500 student-athletes and delegates to the region.

Upgrades at the cross-country skiing and biathlon facilities at Mount Van Hoevenburg are also slated in preparation for the games, as well as upgrades to the Lake Placid Olympic Center and the three state ski areas ORDA runs: Whiteface, Belleayre and Gore.

Lift chairs from the Olympic Jumping Complex in Lake Placid will be replaced with gondolas. (Photo provided by the Olympic Regional Development Authority)

The state Olympic Regional Development Authority plans to replace lift chairs at the ski jumping complex with eight-person gondolas like this. (Image provided by ORDA)

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