SARANAC LAKE, N.Y. — The Lake Placid FISU 2023 Winter Games will return to the U.S. for the first time since 1972. Over 2,500 athletes will be welcomed to a new and improved facility when the games begin.
“I’m going to be excited about it,” said Jon Lundin, Lake Placid FISU’s Head of Communications. “To see it when it was first built and what it did and the excitement that it brought to the community then, and now with this whole modernization project … that is excitement is going to pale in comparison when this project is completed.”
Since last December, construction has taken place at the Civic Center in Saranac Lake. It’s a project featuring many new additions to the facility, benefiting both the athletes and the fans of the curling competitions.
“These improvements help for the sustainability of the Civic Center really,” said Peter Dimmig, the Project Director. “It’s also going to help us expand during the years, have summer events … we want this to be a town building, a community building.”
The changes include converting its ice to five sheets of curling ice, six new locker rooms, an air-conditioned lobby, a heated second-floor mezzanine viewing area, 500 new seats for spectators, an upgraded ice plant with a new chiller to help keep the ice in good condition, LED lighting, an insulated exterior siding, a new electronic Zamboni, scoreboard, team bus parking area and snack bar.
Dimmig credits the Saranac Lake community for making it all possible. He says hundreds of people contributed anywhere between $10 to $500,000 of individual donations to help fund the construction.
“We’re just grateful to the community for their donations, for their support,” Dimmig said. “Because without that, we would never have it. It just shows you the community involvement and how much they care about this facility.”
Businesses and residents in the area have raised a $1.76 million total to help out. If you wish to donate yourself, you can make a check payable to SLCC, PO. Box 1040, Saranac Lake, NY 12983. For credit card usage, you can visit their website.
The project is on pace to be completed this December, one month ahead of the games, which will run from Jan. 12-22. Lundin said its exciting knowing that athletes representing 10 separate countries will get to use the new facility, a spirit of positive energy is shining brightly in Saranac Lake, knowing they will welcome them all with open arms.
“Having these games back here for the first time since 1972 … There’s a sense of pride in all of the communities,” Lundin said. “For such a small area, we’re able to host the world.”