The Adirondack Challenge was announced by Gov. Cuomo earlier this year as a way to bring much-needed tourism to upstate New York, with the big draw being Gov. Cuomo taking on other elected officials – including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg – in raft races.
It seems, however, that most of the public will only get to see those raft races on television.
A media advisory released by Cuomo’s press shop Friday morning listed the race involving Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders on Sunday July 21 and the Cuomo versus Bloomberg race on Monday, July 22, as “PRESS ONLY EVENTS” for credentialed media members.
The explanation, according to administration officials, has more to do with logistics and the topography of the area around Indian Lake than a desire to protect any of the elected officials from rafting embarrassment. The terrain around the race river site simply does not allow large numbers of spectators, they said.
Still, officials are hoping media coverage of the races will satisfy the original goal of the Challenge – to draw attention to the Adirondacks.
“We are holding the Adirondack challenge to highlight all that the region has to offer – including some of the best whitewater rafting in the nation,” said Cuomo spokesman Matt Wing. “The challenge will generate significant media attention and show that the Adirondacks are a great vacation destination for people from across the state and mid-east region.”
And there are other events on Sunday, July 21, that will be open to the public, including a 10 a.m. canoe race with over 100 competitors and a 1 p.m. at Byron Park festival with live music, food vendors, and “displays of artisan-crafted watercraft.