Governor Andrew M. Cuomo held the 2014 Adirondack Challenge over the weekend, an exciting afternoon to highlight the summer tourism opportunities in the region, including outdoor activities such as rafting and fly fishing. The event, held in Indian Lake, attracted elected officials, tourism industry leaders and summer enthusiasts to Upstate New York. In today’s award ceremony, it was announced that Governor Cuomo and Governor Shumlin tied today’s whitewater competition, both coming in with times of 19:20.
“Last year we launched the Adirondack Challenge to showcase this beautiful region to people across New York and from all corners of the globe, and to boost tourism and help grow the local economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “This year’s challenge was bigger and better than ever with hundreds of participants and new activities from hiking and fishing to motorcycling and golfing. This is the perfect time to visit the Adirondacks and I encourage all New Yorkers to make a trip this summer. I want to thank everyone who helped us support this beautiful region – especially our neighbor, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin – as well as New York’s legislative leaders.”
As part of the 2014 Adirondack Challenge, teams participated in various outdoor activities, including golf, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, fly fishing and motorcycle riding. Each event included awards for superior or notable performances.
The non-rafting event awardees included:
Larry Schwartz Invitational Award for Golf: SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher
- Least Likely to Need Search & Rescue Award for Hiking: Assemblyman Dan Stec
- Best Tan Lines Award for the Adirondack Experience (canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding): Indian Lake Central School Principal David Snide
- Deadliest Catch Award for Fly fishing: Mohawk Valley Regional Council Co-Chair Larry Gilroy
- Adirondack Chopper Award for the Motorcycle Ride: Assemblyman Sam Roberts, Keene Supervisor Bill Ferebee, and Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava
In addition to the individual events, personalized rafting awards were presented to select rafters who this year helped illuminate the summer activities offered in Upstate Neåçw York. Those awards were:
- Best Rapids Negotiating Award: New York State Assembly, captained by Speaker Sheldon Silver
- Little Raft That Could Award: New York State Senate, captained by Senator Betty Little
- Team Coordination Award: New York State Senate, captained by Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins
- City Slickers Award: New York State Senate, captained by Senator Jeff Klein
- Most Improved Award: Onondaga County Executive Mahoney
- Freshman Award: The Albany raft, captained by City of Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan
- Billion Dollar Paddlers Award: The Western New York raft, including Regional Council Co-Chair Howard Zemsky, Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, and Dunkirk Mayor A.J. Dolce
- Just Another Day at the Office Award: Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin
- Hometown Hero Award: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
The second summer Adirondack Challenge was complemented last year by the first-ever Winter Adirondack Challenge hosted by Whiteface Mountain.
In 2013, New York’s tourism industry generated direct spending of $59.2 billion, producing an estimated $7.5 billion in state and local taxes. The number of visitors to New York is estimated to have increased by 8.8 million and projected to finish at 218.8 million visitors in 2013. As the fourth largest employment sector in New York, the tourism industry also added 28,500 jobs in 2013 for a total of 832,500 jobs and generated more than $17.96 billion in wages. One out of every 12 jobs in New York is tourism-related.