The Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA), which runs Belleayre, Gore, and Whiteface, has chosen its new leader.
On Monday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that Ashley Walden has been appointed as the new President & CEO of ORDA. Walden was a member of USA Luge’s Olympic and World Cup Teams. After retiring from luge, she went on to work in numerous sports leadership roles, which included the Executive Director of the Adirondack Sports Council.
While working for the Adirondack Sports Council, she organized the 2023 Winter World University Games. The multi-sport event, which was hosted at ORDA facilities, saw athletes from “over 50 countries and approximately 600 universities.”
Ashley is succeeding Mike Pratt, who has spent the last 38 years with the organization. Starting in 2017, he was the President & CEO of ORDA. During his time as the leader, the state spent over $600 million to revitalize its facilities, which included new lifts, lodges, and snowmaking improvements at Belleayre, Gore, and Whiteface.
Governor Hochul said the following in the press release about Ashley and the future of ORDA:
“Congratulations to Ashley Walden, who brings dedication, leadership and deep sports knowledge to the Olympic Regional Development Authority. I want to thank Mike Pratt for his 38 years of dedication and leadership of the Olympic Authority, which have been among the best in the Olympic Authority’s history. Building on the State’s recent generational investments in our Olympic facilities and the successful FISU 2023 World University Games, the future of winter sports in New York State is bright.”
For the next couple of seasons, many improvements will be happening at the ski resorts that are a part of ORDA. Next winter will see a new detachable quad at Whiteface, a new beginner Quad at Gore, and a new Lift 7 at Belleayre. The 2024-25 season will see a new high-speed quad and lodge at Gore’s North Creek Ski Bowl.
Click here to read ORDA’s latest annual report.
Image Credits: Olympic Regional Development Authority