LAKE PLACID, New York ??вЂќ Gore Mountain in North Creek and Whiteface in Wilmington, both operated by the New York Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) in Lake Placid, have won awards at the annual National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) meeting. The announcements were made Tuesday from the NSAA Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Gore Mountain achieved a Silver Eagle for Excellence in Environmental Education, while Whiteface Willy won Best Safety Mascot as part of the NSAA’s National Safety Awareness Week. Both honors were for the 2004-05 season.
Through its “Northwoods Knowledge” program, Gore Mountain continues to share information about the region and the heritage of the Adirondack Park with all guests. The resort has created an environmental interpretive center inside its Northwoods gondola cabins. Also, Gore has themed the names of lifts and trails after the Great Camps of the Adirondacks, placed interpretive signage throughout the resort and hosts onsite community environmental education programs.
Other finalists in this category were Big Mountain, Montana and Mammoth, Calif.
According to Operations Supervisor Jim Allott, Whiteface Willy was named after ORDA employees Willie Barrie and Howie Daby. The cartoon-like figure was drawn by another employee, Mary Minogue.
In conjunction with this program, safety tips in the form of “Whiteface Willy sez” were placed at numerous locations around the mountain. Among his top tips were, “Use your head. Wear a helmet” and “When in the air, know where you’re going to land.” Allott “sez” that Whiteface Willy will now have a permanent presence at the mountain.