Cliff Donaldson accepts a special Destination Award on behalf of Governor Andrew Cuomo at the Lake Placid CVB/Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism Annual Meeting and Reception. (L-R): Senator Betty Little, Justin Smith, chair, Lake Placid CVB/ROOST Board of Directors; Cliff Donaldson, NYS Department of Labor.Events, historic sites, infrastructure and Governor Cuomo are 2011 recipients   Lake Placid, N.Y. - In a gathering of their tourism industry peers and elected officials, the 2011 Destination Award winners were announced at the Lake Placid CVB/Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (LPCVB/ROOST) annual meeting and reception on January 12, 2012 at the Conference Center at Lake Placid. The awards were presented by Justin Smith, Chair of the LPCVB/ROOST board of directors. "As the Destination Marketing Organization for Essex County, we are pleased to showcase the people and organizations who have made the greatest contributions toward achieving a sustainable tourism economy for our region," he said during the event.  "I'm honored to celebrate the efforts of our industry's best." The first award presented was the the Tourism Advocate Award, which is given to the group or individual who is directly responsible for bringing a large group or event to the area resulting in a significant economic impact to the County.  The 2011 recipient was the Lake Placid Business Association for the creation, promotion and ongoing development of the Lake Placid Holiday Village Stroll event.   "This group developed a three-day event that greatly enhances the holiday atmosphere in Lake Placid, said Smith in presenting the award. "The Stroll provides a pre-holiday celebration full of activities for regional residents and visitors." Mary Jane Lawrence, chair of the Holiday Village Stroll committee accepted the award on the group's behalf. "It is all the hard work and support of the Stroll Committee, Lake Placid Business Association, the clubs, sponsors and local businesses that has made the Annual Holiday Stroll a success," said Lawrence. The Tourism Marketing Award is given to a group or individual who has produced or launched an innovative tourism marketing product or initiative. The 2011 winner was Fort Ticonderoga for their America's Fort branding and expanded targeting through the creation of family activities, special events, re-enactments and the internationally acclaimed Art Of War exhibit. "As part of its strategic marketing plan in 2011, Fort Ticonderoga launched an initiative and rebranding effort that associated the Fort with its significant history and the experience visitors will have there today," said Smith during the presentation.  "Aptly identified now as ‘America's Fort', the historic site has also extensively broadened its programmatic offerings to result in a premiere tourism experience." The final annual award was the Destination Product Award, which is given to the group or individual who has, through capital investment or public coordination, moved forward with a project (or projects) that positively affects the tourism-related infrastructure in Essex County.   "On October 16, 2009, the region was shocked by the sudden closure of the Lake Champlain Bridge," said Smith. "This vital link between Crown Point, NY and Addison VT had been in place since 1929, effectively merging the two states and the business community into one, seamless region." In addition to causing significant inconveniences and economic challenges to residents on both sides of the lake, the loss of the bridge severed a vital link for travelers between New England and the Adirondacks. The 2011 Destination Product Award was presented to the New York State Department of Transportation and the Vermont Agency of Transportation, the team responsible for securing the funding, facilitating the design and building the fantastic new Lake Champlain Bridge.  Senator Elizabeth O'C LIttle accepted the award on their behalf.  A special citation was awarded to Governor Andrew Cuomo and his administration In recognition of his swift and decisive action following Tropical Storm Irene.  "Our organization represents a large percentage of the business community in the Adirondacks, said Smith. "We are extremely grateful for the Governor's leadership in both restoring vital transportation links via Route 73 in Keene Valley and other damaged conduits to the Adirondack region, and for his continued reassurance to the general public and the media that the region is, indeed, ‘open for business'."   The special award was accepted on behalf of the Governor and his administration by Cliff Donaldson, the state Department of Labor commissioner's North Country regional administrator. The 2011 Destination Award nominees were submitted by their peers, and the winners were selected by the LPCVB/ROOST Board of Directors.   For more information about the Lake Placid CVB/Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, visit their corporate website at http://www.roostadk.com/.

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PHOTO: Cliff Donaldson accepts a special Destination Award on behalf of Governor Andrew Cuomo at the Lake Placid CVB/Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism Annual Meeting and Reception. (L-R): Senator Betty Little, Justin Smith, chair, Lake Placid CVB/ROOST Board of Directors; Cliff Donaldson, NYS Department of Labor. CONTACT: Kimberly Rielly, director of communications Lake Placid CVB/Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism Lake Placid, Adirondacks USA 518.637.6559    Twitter: @krielly