After hosting the 1932 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid continued to bid for another chance to host. Between 1932 and 1980, they placed 7 bids to the United States Olympic Committee, 3 of which went through. The bid for the 1980 Olympics was chosen on the contingencies that Lake Placid had to prove to the USOC that they were capable, and that the town was interested in hosting. A vote conducted among the people of Lake Placid and North Elba showed the 75% of voters were in support of hosting the Olympics. Lake Placid was also well known for being an elite winter sports destination, and many of the residents already had the necessary skills for facilitating all of the winter sports that would be taking place. After the four other cities bidding dropped out, Lake Placid became the sight of the 1980 Winter Olympics.
Through a program called, The Direct Mail Fundraising Program, $1.5 million dollars were donated. The program entailed sending mailings to sports enthusiasts, and supporters of other patriotic causes. Occasionally, the program tested out different incentive packages and sent along souvenirs. Souvenirs included stamps with Olympic contestants.
“The primary objective of the pricing aspect of the plan was to insure fair and equitable prices for tickets to an event of the magnitude, significance, prestige and nature of the Olympic Games while, at the same time, keeping an eye toward maximizing ticket revenue to balance the operating budget” (Overall Report, 136). The tiered system of ticket sales meant that tickets were categorized by level (ie. moving spectator, reserved indoor seating, preliminary, consolation, final, standing room, etc) and each level was associated with a different price. Tickets were allocated into five categorie: Domestic, Canadian, International, Marketing, and Preferential. After the initial sale period, all remaining tickets were sent back to Lake Placid and sold at the door. Using this method increased the number of ticket sales and revenue.
After the games an assessment of the financial situation was conducted by Peat, Marwick and Mitchell, an outside firm. They found that Lake Placid was 8.5 million dollars in debt after the close of the ceremonies. They LPOOC $2 million dollars in assets, leaving Lake Placid $6.5 million dollars in the red. Although, bankruptcy seemed inevitable, in the Winter of 1981, the Governor announced that the state would cover the remaining debt.