Winter Olympic map shows Park City again having outsized role
December 18, 2018
The 2030 Winter Olympics would be the Salt Lake City Games.
But Park City would have an outsized role, as the community did during the Games in 2002. Competition venues are proposed at Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort and the Utah Olympic Park. Main Street would be expected to reprise its role as one of the Olympics' top celebration zones, and the transportation planners would dedicate significant time to crafting plans to move tens of thousands of people in, out and around Park City each day.
As the capital city and the wider Olympic region prepare to enter the bidding phase for a future Games, likely those of 2030, Park City is expected to be a crucial player in discussions. The talks will eventually involve Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, the state government, numerous city and county governments as well as Washington. The International Olympic Committee would also be heavily involved.
The Utah Olympic Exploratory Committee, seated to outline the possibilities of a future Games, in February issued a report that offers a preview of some of the details that are anticipated to be molded into a formal bid. The concept map of venues is especially intriguing for Park City. The Utah Olympic Park would stage the ski jumping and sliding sports, as it did in 2002. The map locates freestyle skiing and snowboarding events at PCMR while alpine skiing and freestyle skiing are slated for Deer Valley.
"Everyone recognizes the importance of the two ski resorts and the Utah Olympic Park," said Colin Hilton, the president and CEO of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation and a member of the Utah Olympic Exploratory Committee.
Nearby Soldier Hollow Nordic Center would be the location of the cross-country skiing and biathlon events.
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The foundation Hilton leads maintains the Utah Olympic Park, the Utah Olympic Oval and the Soldier Hollow Nordic Center, three venues in 2002 that will be part of a bid. He was also a high-level staffer in the organizing committee that staged the Olympics in 2002.
The most notable entry on the map is PCMR. The resort in 2002 hosted alpine skiing and snowboarding events. The Utah Olympic Exploratory Committee, though, removed the alpine skiing events from PCMR and added freestyle skiing competitions at the resort. It kept snowboarding events there from 2002. Hilton said he anticipates additional discussions about the possibility of PCMR hosting alpine skiing.
The map released by the Utah Olympic Exploratory Committee in February is seen as a draft plan. People involved in the efforts acknowledge the blueprints could change over time as organizers prepare a final list of venues and attach the events to each of them. The owners or operators of the venues have indicated they support the Olympic efforts, but the details would not be finalized until later. Hilton called the map "our best forecast" and said organizers would continue to review the map until the venues are set.
Hilton said an Olympic bid committee would continue to talk to the mountain resorts and the operators of other venues about the map. He said information will be gathered about concerns, long-range plans for the venues, interest in hosting competitions and capabilities to host a large event like an Olympics.
Finalizing a venue map will be an important step in the efforts since much of the logistical planning of an Olympics depends on the location of the events. Transportation, parking, security, pedestrian routes and celebration zones all hinge at some level on the map.
"Park City was a key player in 2002 and will be a key partner in a 2030 bid effort," Hilton said.