Opinion: County Chamber thanks everyone for FISU games work
To the Editor:
As the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games come to a close, the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the community, businesses, elected officials, schools and most importantly, our hosts for the Games; SUNY Potsdam, Clarkson University and SUNY Canton.This opportunity has been in the works for many years, with the State investing in facilities across the North Country to host the games and with college leaders accepting and working with the FISU team to ensure a successful opportunity. Tremendous work, negotiations, planning, improvements, and communication have been the role of many at the colleges and community for over a year now. It was certainly a point of pride to see our communities listed on the world stage, ESPN and media outlets across the world; flags and jerseys from nations near and far. Our sincere appreciation to the colleges for their commitment to this opportunity.
As a Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Promotion Agent, we played the unofficial role of community liaison, working with a number of the LP2023 FISU team members on everything from torch relay logistics, Mac the Moose visits, school field trips and coloring books, merchandise sales and most importantly, spreading the word locally to the business community and residents. We did not have a huge expectation of crowds here as we knew the plan was for teams to be housed at SUNY Potsdam, and a slight chance of families and fans travelling here from across the world. There were some, which made for fun cultural experiences.
Our goal was to ensure that our community was ready to welcome visitors, show support by attending games and embracing the opportunity to be a part of the unique, perhaps once in a lifetime international opportunity to be a small part of something big. The community stepped up. We thank you. We hope you enjoyed and embraced it as much as you could. We know that hotels and some restaurants and eateries were well connected to the games and benefited during a typically slow time of year. We know that hundreds of local volunteers and hired contractors got to experience international exchanges and skill development as part of a professional sporting event. We know that we learned a lot, and can move forward with the knowledge and excitement for the future of tourism here.
Again, we thank you and look forward to working towards more opportunities to host events that provide unique opportunities for our residents, while having a beneficial social and economic impact on our County.
Brooke Rouse, Director
of Tourism, St. Lawrence
County Chamber of Commerce