Utah Olympic Park receives $5 million grant for expansion | ParkRecord.com

Utah Olympic Park receives $5 million grant for expansion

The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation gifted the money to help pay for second phase

UOP aerial
A $5 million donation from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation will pay for the second phase of the Utah Olympic Park’s West Peak expansion project.
Park Record file photo

A multimillion-dollar donation from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation will help pay for the second phase of the Utah Olympic Park’s West Peak expansion project.

Foundation Chairman and CEO Spencer F. Eccles announced the $5 million grant on Thursday during the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation’s annual Anti-Gala fundraiser. The money will be used to complete new terrain for an alpine and freestyle training area on the grounds and provide winter sports athletes with a facility they can use at night. 

Advocates of the project have said it puts the park in a position to host multiple additional Olympic disciplines if Utah is chosen to host a Winter Games in 2030 or 2034.

“Our investment in this project is aimed at expanding opportunities for Utah’s youth to pursue interests in winter sports and to build a strong future for winter sport training in our state as we prepare to host another Olympic Winter Games,” Eccles said in a prepared statement. “Whether kids develop a love for skiing, snowboarding, or winter sports they’ll enjoy for a lifetime, or have the talent and determination to become future Olympians, our grant is an investment in Utah’s future.”

Construction on the second phase began this summer. The $17.5 million project will develop 25 acres of ski terrain that includes two main trails for giant slalom and mogul skiing. It also includes plans for snowmaking, a new chairlift on the property’s west side and lights in the training area to allow athletes to train at night. The facilities are expected to open in December.

“Our Foundation is thrilled to be able to cap off the funding for this project knowing it will build on Utah’s exceptional ability – and worldwide reputation – for offering training opportunities for entry level ski racers and world-class winter sport athletes alike,” Lisa Eccles, the president and chief operating officer of the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, said in a prepared statement.

The expansion is also expected to alleviate the pressure on ski resorts by providing another place for youth to train. More than 1,000 members of the Park City Ski & Snowboard Club as well as hundreds more from other local and regional programs are expected to utilize the facility. The park will act as a home base for athletes to train regardless of skill level.

The first phase of the Utah Olympic Park’s expansion, called the Hyeway, was opened in 2019. That phase cost $4.5 million and was paid for by local sports clubs, the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation and its community partners. The project created an improved intermediate hill with six alpine and freestyle components to the park. An estimated 1,500 youths have trained there.

Colin Hilton, the president and CEO of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, said the organization is incredibly grateful for the support.

“We’re excited to be able to salute the Eccles Foundation for its generosity during the week of Spence’s 88th birthday,” he said in a statement. “What an incredible ‘birthday gift’ he is giving our state … one that will benefit winter sport in Utah for generations.”

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