Inlet’s 1,902-boat floatilla record eclipsed

The record for the “World’s Largest Floating Raft,” previously held by Inlet, has been broken.

Canoe and Kayak magazine reported this week that a floatilla of 2,099 canoes and kayaks gathered on Aug. 31 at the Suttons Bay in Michigan. Guinness, which keeps track of and certifies such records, made it official earlier this week.

The event raised $50,000 for Suttons Bay Public Schools, according to the magazine.

The record eclipses Inlet’s One Square Mile of Hope, a gathering of 1,902 canoes, kayaks and guideboats that took place on Fourth Lake in September 2011.

At the time, that record beat the previous one of 1,619 boats, set by “Paddle at the Point” in Pittsburgh in 2010. One Square Mile of Hope’s gathering almost doubled Inlet’s first record of 1,104, set on Fourth Lake in 2008.

The One Square Mile of Hope event was also a fundraiser, generating $80,000 for breast cancer awareness, education, research and treatment via the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The 2008 gathering raised $52,000 for the foundation.

The gathering received much media attention, in part because of a aerial photograph taken by Lake Placid photographer Nancie Battaglia that appeared in numerous regional and national publications.

Touting tourism

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and numerous state officials were in the Lake Placid region Wednesday to make several announcements that would affect the area, including that $12 million in state funding would be allocated for repairs to Whiteface Mountain’s Veterans’ Memorial Highway.

During that morning, numerous local and state officials took a trip up the highway to meet Cuomo. The group took SUVs up the highway but rode together in a bus from Lake Placid to the Whiteface Mountain Ski Center. On bus ride back from Whiteface, there were a few presentations made to the governor and state officials.

One of them was by Jim McKenna, CEO of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism in Lake Placid. McKenna talked about how the Adirondacks and North Country is doing a better job of taking a regional approach to tourism. Here’s some of what McKenna had to say when given the opportunity to talk directly to Cuomo, who was seated toward the front of the bus.

“When we look at our region from Lake Ontario up around the St. Lawrence and back down Lake Champlain and everything in between, we recognize that we are together as one unit and we see tourism as one of those viable industries. With your help, through the (Adirondack) Challenge (rafting races) and everything else you’ve done with the fishing tournaments and all that, you’ve really brought it to a level that we had not been able to go to before.

“Our challenge now is harnessing that energy because a lot of the communities, as you know in the North Country, Adirondacks and other areas, they are struggling a little bit. Populations are declining, and what we see when that happens, they are losing grocery stores, losing gas stations. We’re now looking at tourism to bring that back because population bases don’t necessarily provide enough demand for those businesses to survive. By bringing the visitors in, you look at Indian Lake, their grocery store that was out. If we had a good flow of visitors there, that would support the grocery store and everything else, so the resident’s quality of life also goes up at the same time, and then we’re in a better position to bring other industries in as well because we have the amenities.”

Invasive species regulations

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is proposing new invasive species regulations, which are now up for public comment through Dec. 23.

The proposed regulations include “a list of prohibited species which shall be unlawful to knowingly possess with the intent to sell, import, purchase, transport or introduce; a list of regulated species which shall be legal to possess, sell, purchase, propagate and transport but may not be knowingly introduced into a free-living state; and require a permit for research, education and other approved activities involving prohibited species and release of regulated species into a free-living state.”

More information on the proposal can be found on the DEC’s website.

New Whiteface passes

Skiers who purchased season passes to Whiteface Mountain may to have to exchange their passes before they can use them this season.

An alert to skiers sent out this week noted that Whiteface is using a new system to print passes. The ones printed over the summer won’t work at the lifts. They have to be exchanged.

“Please take a look at your pass and if the pass number begins with a letter, you will need to exchange it,” the alert stated. “If your pass number is all numbers, your pass is valid and you will not need to exchange it. Please bring the old pass to the main ticket desk where the exchanges will be made.”