Park City envisions another project celebrating Winter Olympic legacy
Park City could mark the community’s prominent role in the 2002 Winter Olympics with another legacy project, something that would celebrate the past Games at a time when the Olympic region of Utah is poised to bid on a future Games.
The Park City Public Art Advisory Board, a City Hall panel that has influence as taxpayer-funded art projects are considered, has indicated it wants municipal discussions about a permanent project based on the Olympic legacy along Main Street. A written update drafted for Mayor Andy
Beerman and the Park City Council in anticipation of a City Council meeting on Thursday indicated the Public Art Advisory Board is interested in a project that “engages patrons on Main Street,” describing possibilities like sculptures, murals or unspecified other sorts of artworks. A project would “continue to celebrate City’s Olympic Legacy and hopeful future bid.” The update notes a $50,000 price with a funding source to be determined. An accompanying report to the elected officials estimates a completion date by 2020.
The update does not provide details, and it seems numerous decisions will need to be made before some sort of Olympic legacy project is pursued. The report does not identify a precise location along Main Street, as an example.
Main Street was one of the highlights of the Olympic region during 2002. City Hall opted to turn Main Street into a pedestrian-only celebration zone during the Games, drawing large crowds of revelers for concerts, pin trading and other entertainment. The shopping, dining and entertainment strip received widespread publicity during the Games as the international media was drawn to the festivities.
It would be likely Main Street would be tapped in a similar fashion in a future Games. The United States Olympic Committee has selected Salt Lake City as the bid city for a future Winter Olympics. The efforts are focused on the Games of 2030.
There are few reminders of the Games remaining on Main Street. The most prominent had been a giant sculpture of a torch that stood at one of the corners of the intersection of Main Street and Heber Avenue for nearly a decade after the Games. It was moved to the intersection of Kearns Boulevard and Bonanza Drive in 2011. Another large sculpture marking Park City’s role in the Winter Olympics was installed along S.R. 224 while the Olympic Welcome Plaza is located at the intersection of Park Avenue and Kearns Boulevard.
Park City sees the Olympic legacy as something that separates itself from nearly all of the other mountain resort competitors as it continues to provide a marketing tool 17 years after the closing ceremonies.
The Park City area hosted approximately half of the competitions during the Olympics. Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort and the Utah Olympic Park were important athletic venues in 2002. PCMR hosted ski racing and snowboarding events, Deer Valley hosted ski racing and freestyle skiing contests and the Utah Olympic Park was the location of sliding sports and ski jumping. Each of the venues has been tapped as part of a future Olympic bid as well.
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Several people approached Mayor Andy Beerman and the Park City Council this week pressing issues important to senior citizens. The issues include the availability of housing for people who want to age in the community.