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Gov. Andrew Cuomo, right, is ready to hop in the raft for a second trip down the Indian River July 22, 2013 during the inaugural Adirondack Challenge. (Photo/Pete Klein)


Second Annual Adirondack Challenge is Sunday

Friday, July 18, 2014 - Updated: 11:39 AM

ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today, July 18, announced details for the 2nd Annual Adirondack Challenge, which is designed to promote tourism and recreational opportunities in the region. As part of the event, Cuomo will be participating in whitewater rafting with Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and numerous state and local officials and tourism industry representatives. 

“The Adirondack Challenge is about highlighting the beauty and recreational opportunities available to visitors of the region, and New York’s second annual challenge will showcase everything the Adirondacks has to offer like never before," Cuomo said. "Last year we set the bar high with a Challenge that drew a variety of tourism industry representatives, business leaders, and elected officials, and this year we are going even further.”

Cuomo’s whitewater rafting team will include Sandra Lee and his daughters.

Additional rafts competing in this year’s Challenge include:

· New York State Assembly Democratic Conference, captained by Speaker Sheldon Silver;

· New York State Senate Republican Conference, captained by Senator Betty Little;

· New York State Senate Independent Democratic Conference, captained by Leader Jeff Klein;

· New York State Senate Democratic Conference, captained by Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins;

· Onondaga County, captained by County Executive Joanie Mahoney;

· City of Albany, captained by Mayor Kathy Sheehan; and

· Western New York, captained by WNY Regional Council Co-Chair Howard Zemsky and Mayor Paul Dyster from Niagara Falls.

In addition to whitewater rafting, the 2014 Adirondack Challenge offers participants the opportunity to go golfing, hiking, fishing, paddle boarding, canoeing, or kayaking, or take part on an Adirondack motorcycle ride. A Taste NY reception is also being held, at Gore Mt. at 3 p.m., to highlight the many world-class food and beverage products made by local vendors.

Activities check-in begins at 10:30 a.m. The Adirondack Challenge begins at 11 a.m. Visit for more information.


Other participants in this year’s challenge include:

· NYS senators Hugh Farley, Diane Savino, David Valesky, Michael Gianaris, and Patty Ritchie;

· NYS Assembly members J. Gary Pretlow, Keith Wright, Marc Butler, Michael Cusick, Donna Lupardo, Kenneth Zebrowski, Addie Russell, Sam Roberts, Patricia Fahy, Angelo Santabarbara, Michaelle Solages, Daniel Stec, and Maritza Davila;

· Essex County Board of Supervisors Chairman Randy Douglas;

· Hamilton County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Farber;

· Franklin County Board of Supervisors Chairman D. Billy Jones;

· St. Lawrence County Legislature Chairman Jonathan Putney;

· Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen;

· Secretary to the Governor Larry Schwartz;

· ESD President and CEO Kenneth Adams;

· NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey;

· DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens;

· Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito;

· SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher;

· SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran;

· SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling;

· Clarkson University President and North Country Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair Tony Collins;

· Tourism Advisory Council Members Cristyne Nicholas, Thomas Mulroy, and John Ernst;

· Adirondack Park Agency Chair Lani Ulrich;

· NYS Canals Corp. Director Brian Stratton;

· Parole Board Chairwoman Tina Stanford;

· Division of Veterans Affairs Director Col. Eric Hesse;

· Acting Director of the NYS Office for the Aging Corinda Crossdale;

· Acting Commissioner of the Department of Human Rights Helen Foster;

· Mohawk Valley RED-C Co-Chair Lawrence T. Gilroy;

· NYS AFL-CIO Director of Government Affairs Suzy Ballantyne;

· Buffalo Building & Construction Trades Council President Paul Brown;

· Business Council of NYS President & CEO Heather Bricetti; and

· Olympians Chris Mazdzer and Andrew Weibrecht.

In 2012 alone, tourism in the Adirondack Region generated $1.24 billion in direct spending and $152 million in state and local taxes. This economic sector was integral to the region, responsible for 13,890 jobs, 17.9 percent of employment, and $332 million in labor income.


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