Winter Olympic concept takes ski-racing events off Park City Mountain Resort slopes |

Winter Olympic concept takes ski-racing events off Park City Mountain Resort slopes

Deer Valley Resort’s role in hosting events during the 2002 Winter Olympics is marked at the Olympic Welcome plaza in Park City. Deer Valley hosted ski racing and freestyle skiing competitions in the Games and could host those events in a future Olympics, according to a conceptual map released this week by an Olympic exploratory committee.
Jay Hamburger/Park Record

Park City Mountain Resort has years of ski-racing history, hosting World Cup events and competitions during the Winter Olympics in 2002.

But in the past decade, the resort has shifted away from World Cup-level ski racing events like the giant slalom and slalom. As the Utah Exploratory Committee that is considering a future bid for an Olympics released an important report on Wednesday, one of the pages offers an intriguing look at a concept map of potential venues.

PCMR, seen as the Utah resort most associated with the rise of ski racing in the state, is not listed as a racing venue for skiers. The resort during the Olympics in 2002 hosted the giant slalom competitions. In the years before the Games, PCMR was a regular stop on the skiing World Cup circuit for the America’s Opening competitions. The resort moved away from World Cup-level ski racing in the post-Games era, opting to focus on sports like snowboarding.

The map lists PCMR as the conceptual venue for snowboarding and freestyle skiing. It does not provide details about the disciplines.

The map is an early concept drafted by the exploratory committee in anticipation of a bid for the Winter Olympics in 2026 or 2030. The United States Olympic Committee said late in the week it does not intend to mount a bid for an American city to host the event in 2026.

The map could change significantly over time as a bid is eventually formalized for an Olympics as early as 2030. The venue map for the Winter Olympics in 2002 was altered from the early days of the bidding process.

But the map released on Wednesday provides further evidence that the Park City area would be heavily involved in a future Games, something that has not been doubted.

PCMR provided a prepared statement in response to a Park Record inquiry about the concept map not including the resort as a skiing venue. The statement said PCMR supports the exploratory committee’s plan and is excited about a second Olympics.

“While it’s still early in the process and premature to make remarks specific to venues and events, we welcome the opportunity to be a part of history again,” the statement said.

It is not known what sort of impacts a map like the one released by the exploratory committee would have on Park City as a community. Even if PCMR was not a ski-racing venue in an Olympics, the resort could host other events that were not part of the Games program in 2002, meaning that it could again be a busy venue.

The map, meanwhile, lists Deer Valley Resort as the conceptual location for ski racing and freestyle skiing, the same categories as the Games in 2002. Snowbasin Resort is shown as a ski-racing venue as well, another repeat from 2002.

Bob Wheaton, the president and chief operating officer of Deer Valley Resort, called the map a “conceptual layout of what could happen” in a future Games. He said Deer Valley wants to serve as a venue in a second Olympics. The “sense of pride of 2002 is still here,” he said.

“The placement of the specific events are still yet to be identified,” Wheaton said.

The Utah Olympic Park’s entry on the map shows the venue from 2002 would have a similar role in a future Games. The bobsled, skeleton, luge, ski jumping and Nordic combined competitions would be staged at the Utah Olympic Park, according to the map.

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