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Van Ho Alpine coaster contract will be decided Monday

LAKE PLACID — The state Olympic Regional Development Authority’s Board of Directors will vote on two contract agreements on Monday for projects at the Mount Van Hoevenberg Olympic Sports Complex and Gore Mountain Ski Center.

Those projects include the installation of an Alpine coaster at Mount Van Hoevenberg — essentially a recreational rail car that moves through mountainous terrain — and an electrical substation to replace outdated equipment at Gore.

The coaster would follow the path of the 1980 bobsled track, which is currently inoperable. The board will decide whether to award the contract to build that coaster to Luck Brothers, a Plattsburgh-based contractor, for an amount not to exceed $1,933,333. As part of the proposed contract, ORDA would expect most of the work to be completed by Sept. 1, 2020.

For the Gore substation work, the board will decide whether to award a $337,000 contract to Northline Utilities, based in AuSable Forks, for both the removal of old equipment and the installation of new equipment. ORDA wants the work done by Oct. 19.

Both of these projects were previously posted on the New York State Contract Reporter website to solicit bids, and both Luck Brothers and Northline Utilities submitted proposals that were determined to be the “lowest responsible bids,” according to ORDA documents.

The board will also vote on whether to commit capital to, and authorize ORDA CEO Michael Pratt to sign an agreement for, a project that would bring “smart card” gate systems to the Gore, Whiteface and Belleayre Mountain ski centers.

These new smart card gate systems would work with radio frequency identification technology. A visitor would be able to purchase a unique RFID card, put it in a pocket and have the ability to pass through gates and access ski lifts without having to take the card out of that pocket. The cards would also be reusable: Visitors would be able to remotely reload their accounts and continue to use the same card over multiple visits. It’s a system that’s now common at ski resorts around the world.

With the board’s approval, ORDA would purchase 789,938 smart cards for customers as well as new gate systems at each of the three ski centers from Axess Inc., a company based in Austria, for a total of $486,747.

The ORDA Board of Directors is set to meet at 2 p.m. Monday in the Lake Placid Conference Center.

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