LAKE PLACID-The finishing touches are being put on the Conference Center of Lake Placid, and the first group to use the facility will be coming soon.
"The first group that we have in here is the New York Child Passenger Safety Group," Jim McKenna, president of the Lake Placid Convention and Visitors Bureau and Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST), said. "They will be here on May 11, and we expect about 400-500 people to attend."
McKenna said the center should be ready to go soon.
"We hope that the conference center will be up and operating about a month from now," McKenna said. "We have some other groups booked as well."
McKenna said the conference center has been a "positive" that was brought to the area through the work of state officials and the Olympic Regional Development Authority.
"We have to go back to the last year of Gov. George Pataki," he said. "He's the one that identified, working with ORDA, that it would be good for the economy of this northern Adirondack area to get a more modern and up-to-date conference center facility built. Over the last six years, it has been a process to fine tune the design and fine tune the location and really, it has all come to fruition over the last two years. When ORDA does the grand opening, I think people are going to be quite impressed with that facility."
McKenna said the conference center will be the centerpiece of working to fill in the "holes" between the winter and summer seasons.
"What we are more concerned about is evening off the seasons, and this conference center gives us the ability to fill in the spring and the fall months," McKenna said. "What we hope to see is that this facility will help us to establish a viable meeting market at the time of year when it is quiet around here. That is when that facility will show its worth because it will provide and area for people to come from throughout the northeast to have their meeting and to enjoy the Adirondack ambiance."
McKenna said the center can also lead to economic growth in the region.
"That leads to new and better jobs in the area and better benefits for people," McKenna said. "That is a formula that we believe can work in the Adirondacks as we move this tourism plan forward."
Overall, the conference center is just another tool in working to provide a solid regional tourism industry foundation, McKenna said.
"There's a lot of ingredients that work together to make a successful tourism economy, and we are finding out that we are much better off working with all the towns in the region in working together to ensure a successful season and that is certainly starting to happen," he said.