Park City Mountain, Deer Valley agreements for Olympics will outline dates for exclusive venue use |

Park City Mountain, Deer Valley agreements for Olympics will outline dates for exclusive venue use

Deals that were negotiated for 2002 covered periods that started well before opening ceremonies

Deer Valley Resort hosted moguls and aerials competitions during the 2002 Winter Olympics and remains a World Cup stop in the disciplines, with the 2023 competitions slated for this week. Agreements between the committee seeking to host a second Games in the state and potential venues, including Deer Valley, are under negotiation. | David Jackson/Park Record

The Winter Olympics in 2002 opened on Feb. 8 and ended on Feb. 24.

But the Games organizers held the exclusive right to use certain terrain at Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort, which were both competition venues, for a period that stretched weeks longer than the 17 days of the Olympics.

The two resorts are also identified as venues on the map for a future Games, perhaps as soon as the 2030 event, and negotiations are underway between the group leading the efforts in the state to host a second Games and potential venues like Park City Mountain and Deer Valley.

The Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games by late January had reached what are known as venue-use agreements with two-thirds of the potential competition venues to host sporting events if a Games is awarded. The Park City Mountain and Deer Valley venue-use agreements remain under negotiation. The committee recently indicated there is hope the agreements with the two resorts will be finalized by March.

The venue-use agreements are important documents that outline the roles and responsibilities of an Olympic organizing committee and the individual resorts. One of the key elements of an agreement will outline the dates a portion or portions of the resorts will operate as venues.

The agreements that were negotiated between the Olympic organizing committee that staged the Games of 21 years ago and the resort managements at the time provide some insight into what the sides are now likely addressing as they reach the new deals. Very little is known about the agreements that governed the venues in 2002 since they were privately reached between the organizing committee and the resorts. The official report of the Games of 2002, though, details the dates the venue-use agreements were in effect. The agreements in 2002 provide at least a suggestion of what may be under negotiation now regarding the timeframe of the use of the venues by a future organizing committee.

According to the report, which was drafted in the period immediately after the Games of 2002, the organizing committee held exclusive use of the venue at Park City Mountain from Jan. 5 until Feb. 28. The dates for the Deer Valley venue ran from Jan. 7 until March 1. The dates did not include the construction of the venues, which started months before the Olympics, or the teardown of the temporary stadiums afterward. The periods covered the final weeks of preparations for the Games, when the organizers were busy finishing the construction of the venues and readying the operations, and the days after closing ceremonies, when the operations were dismantled.

The Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games by late January did not release details about the dates that are under consideration for exclusive use in the current talks with the resorts.

The two resorts remained open to the public during the Olympics of 2002, but there were sections of terrain that were off limits. The management of Park City Mountain and Deer Valley in the earlier era sought to limit the impacts of the venues on the rest of their respective resorts, and the same reasoning is expected to be employed as the agreements for a future Games are negotiated.

The agreements that are ultimately reached with the two resorts could be of note to skiers and snowboarders at Park City Mountain and skiers at Deer Valley since there is a possibility terrain outside the competition venues could be included as training runs for the athletes, meaning there could be on-mountain closures extending beyond those needed for the actual competitions.

The agreements will also address the need for operational space outside the competition venues. That space could encompass some of the land where the Park City-side Park City Mountain parking lots and Deer Valley’s Snow Park parking lots are currently located, another possible impact to the regular customers at the two resorts.

Salt Lake City is bidding for a future Games, with the event of 2030 or the Olympics of four years later appearing to be possibilities. It is not clear when the International Olympic Committee will make the selection. The Park City area would play a key role in a future Games, as was the case in 2002.

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