ORDA Rethinks Mission Statement

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File photo of Whiteface by Mike Lynch

The Council of State is considering a new mission statement for the sites managed by the ORDA

By James M. Odato

The people who run New York-owned ski attractions are changing their aspirations, and that could lead to wider access to those sites.

The Olympic Regional Development Authority Board of Directors proposes a new mission statement. One project includes phrases such as “commitment to environmental stewardship” and creating “economic and social benefits in the Adirondacks and Catskill regions.”

But Elinor Tatum, member of the board of directors, claims another version. She noted that the proposed statement makes no mention of obligations to persons with disabilities or Paralympians. And there’s nothing in the plan to make the sites affordable, Tatum said.

“Is that part of our mission – to make it accessible to the people who live and work there?”

– Elinor Tatum, ORDA Board Member

Tatum has been the nominee for the past two years by state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. She brought up the linguistic revisions at the February ORDA meeting, later saying that the ORDA needed to achieve “the idea of ​​being inclusive”.

North Elba member Art Lussi responded that he agreed with adding Paralympians to the statement.

The Board Governance Committee agreed to re-draft. The council was about to vote on the measure, but the action was postponed.

The current assignment

Maximize the economic impact on the upstate region. We do this by increasing visitation to the Adirondacks region by operating our venues (Olympic Center, Olympic Sports Complex, Olympic Show Jumping Complex, Whiteface Mountain, Gore Mountain) in a fiscally responsible manner while promoting environmental awareness, safety, fun and the Olympic spirit.

Tatum is a part-time ski instructor at Belleayre Mountain, the ski center outside Adirondack Park run by ORDA. Other sites include Mount Van Hoevenberg, Gore and Whiteface Mountains.

The proposed mission statement was drafted with input from Board members and reviewed prior to the meeting. “Wait a second, I missed that,” Tatum said.


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