There is no doubt that the 1980 Olympics created an exponential increase to visitors in the park. From 1950 on many people worked tirelessly to bring the Olympic games to Lake Placid. The possible environmental damages did not come just from the influx of people during the games but the construction leading up to the event and the maintenance that has continued and expanded ever since. During the actual event, an environmental council worked on ways to alleviate the damage of such an influx in visitors, limiting the number of ticket sales to events for example.
When constructing the Olympic village and venue, they had a plan in mind to create lasting infrastructure as opposed to temporary structures which would be removed afterwards. The plan was to make the developments needed for the games and then also generate a plan to expand these infrastructures for future use in Lake Placid. As stated in the Adirondack Almanack, “In addition to the employment opportunities and ongoing use and marketing of the venues that resulted from the creation of ORDA, there have been a number of facility improvements over the last 30-plus years. Initiatives have included continued bidding on international winter sports events; construction of the USOC’s Olympic Training Center completed in 1989; construction of the new combined bobsled, luge and skeleton track in 2000; improvements at Whiteface Mountain including the addition of a high speed gondola, high speed quad and efficient snowmaking equipment; and most recently, construction of the new Conference Center at Lake Placid, a state-of-the-art meeting facility attached to the Olympic Center, which opened in the spring of 2011. We’re looking forward to the upcoming repairs to the Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway beginning this spring, too”.To this day Lake Placid continues as a training spot for many high performing and Olympic athletes, a venue for local sporting events, and a tourist attraction for those looking to revisit the site of the 1980 games. As an article from lakeplacid.com states, “Throughout the 1980's and 1990's, the area has continued to host a variety of competitive events, and to welcome participants and enthusiasts from all over the globe. Thousands of Ironman Lake Placid competitors converge on the area in July, the Lake Placid Horse Shows have been an annual favorite for over 40 years, the popular Rugby Tournament, the Lake Placid Marathon and the expanded LaCrosse tournaments continue to grow.The area continues to beckon visitors year-round; to shop on the charming Main Street, to enjoy a variety of performance arts, ride the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, and to sample area dining fare. The primary draw to the area, though, is the opportunity to explore the mountains and lakes in the Adirondack wilderness in which Lake Placid is sheltered”.
In comparison to the rest of the Adirondack Park, Lake Placid acts as an industrialized urban center. The towns are bustling with people shopping and sightseeing all the while creating industrial traffic and a demand for increased infrastructure. While impressive and exciting to be a host of the 1980 Olympic games, the construction and resulting increase in tourist traffic has had an undoubted effect on the environment of Lake Placid that differs from the desired standards of much of the park.