Olympic organizations talk merger | ParkRecord.com

Olympic organizations talk merger

Submitted by Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation,

The Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation and Soldier Hollow Legacy Foundation released a joint committee report outlining considerations and process steps to integrate Soldier Hollow under Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation oversight. With shared Olympic heritage and complementary missions, the two foundations represent active sport venues from the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games and 2002 Paralympic Winter Games.

Representatives of both foundations formed a joint committee to explore organizational integration. The committee conducted a comprehensive review and analysis of complementary strengths, shared missions and business practices. Emphasis was placed on exploring capital development plans and financial and operational efficiencies. The joint committee report outlines the findings.

Benefits of the proposed integration include: alignment of Utah’s Olympic legacy efforts while ensuring long-term sustainability of each venue; further positioning of Utah as a premier Olympic winter sport training and event destination; and demonstrate key practices to the world how to transform Olympic venues into dynamic community resources.

The respective boards of the two foundations unanimously approved motions to advance efforts toward integration. On Oct. 21, Bill Stenquist, Board Chair of Soldier Hollow Legacy Foundation, and Colin Hilton, President and CEO of Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, signed a letter of intent memorializing the board motions and recommendations of the joint committee report.

Soldier Hollow, located within Wasatch Mountain State Park in Heber Valley, was the 2002 Olympic Winter Games site for cross-country skiing, biathlon and Nordic Paralympic events. In partnership with Utah State Parks, the venue offers year-round recreation opportunities including youth and elite level Nordic competitions, winter season sport programs, public tubing and a host of successful summer events, including the popular Solider Hollow Classic Sheepdog Championship.

Currently, Solider Hollow has successfully continued a sport legacy in the areas of cross-country skiing and biathlon while providing a vibrant community resource for Utah residents. In order for the organization to maintain and upgrade the venue as well as plan for future growth, the Soldier Hollow Legacy Foundation board initiated discussions with the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation about integration opportunities.

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The Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, which manages two 2002 Olympic Winter Games venues — Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns Township and Utah Olympic Park in Park City — represents one of the most successful Olympic legacy models in the world. Well-positioned to launch a number of project initiatives, the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation has proven that Olympic venues can evolve, stay relevant, and ultimately, provide communities with access to sport opportunities for all ages and abilities.

Both foundations have successfully utilized a unique business model that leverages revenues from public activities to subsidize sports programming and events. This has translated into year-round activity, programming, community events and sport competitions serving a broad spectrum of users.