Two-time Winter Olympics host Lake Placid, N.Y., dropped out of the race for the 1998 Winter Olympics, saying the U.S. Winter Games bid lays at the feet of continental Western States competing for the games.

That leaves Salt Lake City; Anchorage, Alaska; Reno-Lake Tahoe, Nev.; Denver and Klamath Falls, Ore. vying at a June 3 meeting of the U.S. Olympic Committee to become "America's Choice" for the Games.Lake Placid, host of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Games, announced Friday it would not pursue the Games, saying an emerging USOC philosophy that the nation needs new winter sports training facilities shifts USOC favor westward.

"It's quite obvious that winter sports athletes . . . have made it very clear that the issue is to develop facilities in the West," said Don Croan, Lake Placid 1998 Bid Committee spokesman.

A Salt Lake organizer said Lake Placid's departure would have little effect on the bid for the Games.

"In my opinion Lake Placid was not a factor in the '98 Games," said Mike Zuhl, chief of staff for Salt Lake Mayor Palmer DePaulis.