NY Olympic authority faces cash-flow crunch

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The New York state entity operating former Olympic venues in Lake Placid continues to face cash flow problems and has had to borrow money to make payroll, according to a state audit released Wednesday.

Auditors found that the Olympic Regional Development Authority struggled with operating losses totaling $45 million between 2010 and 2013, and last year had to use a line of credit to pay workers and make its annual state pension contributions.

The “continuing struggles to maintain fiscal balance show that the authority needs to explore new ways to save costs and commit to sound financial planning going forward,” said New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, whose office conducted the audit.

The authority operates facilities in Lake Placid and ski areas at Whiteface and Gore mountains in the Adirondacks and Belleayre in the Catskills. The authority’s finances are seasonal, with 85 percent of its revenue generated during the winter ski season. The authority’s annual budget is $37 million. In 2012-2013, the authority took in $27 million in revenue.

DiNapoli’s auditors recommended several ways the authority could improve its budgeting and financial management, and suggested that the leaders of the agency conduct a “top-to-bottom” review of its organization and spending.

A spokesman for the authority said it is already working to address many of the recommendations and is looking for ways to boost revenue at its venues while reducing costs through energy efficiency.

The authority was created by state lawmakers in 1981 to manage the venues used to host the 1980 winter games.

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