UOP set to open winter activities this weekend | ParkRecord.com

UOP set to open winter activities this weekend

Nordic ski jumps expected to open by end of month

Like most years, the staff at the Utah Olympic Park (UOP) expects to be busy during its 2016-17 winter schedule by hosting World Cup events and competitions throughout.

Competitions aside, the park will also open a handful of activities reserved for the public. The first of which is the Comet Bobsled, scheduled to start operating on Friday, Nov. 25.

The popular attraction takes those willing to pay the early-season price of $150 per person ($175 per ride after Christmas) down the 2002 Olympic sliding track by the hands of professional pilots. With minor changes the last two years, the Comet Bobsled to be similar to the one of the recent past.

"The ride should be very similar to last year," said Melanie Welch, UOP Marketing Manager. "We do have a lower starting point than from where we used to start at the very top. The reasoning behind that is to open the ride to a larger population of guests because it does make it slightly easier on the body to go from a bit lower of a starting point, yet you still get to experience the G force and the speed and all of the exciting elements."

While ski resorts in the area delayed their starts to the season due to unseasonably warm weather, this is a non-issue for Welch and company at UOP. Thanks to a coolant system underneath the sliding track, there's nothing keeping the park from opening the Comet Bobsled on time.

Other activities that will be available at UOP throughout the winter season will be zip lining, rope courses and a drop tower starting Dec. 26 and running through Jan. 2. Consumers can purchase a holiday pass to participate in all of the above.

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"[The holiday pass] includes our three adventure courses, our drop tower and the extreme zip that goes over the Nordic ski jump," Welch said. "It's a cool aspect over the winter. We just do it during that short period of time for the holiday, weather dependent."

In February, the three ropes courses and drop tower will open again to the public.

One activity that will not return to the slate from last season is extreme tubing. Due to scheduling conflicts with some of the smaller hills used for tubing, Welch says the activity will not return for the 2016-17 winter season after just a year of existence, though it will make a comeback in the summer.

Also thanks to the lack of early-season snow, UOP, as of Tuesday, has yet to open its various Nordic ski jumps. That said, colder temperatures are creeping into the forecast, allowing the park to fire up its snow guns and make some snow.

"Hopefully the weather will cooperate so that they continue making snow and get the jumps open as soon as possible," Welch said. "Hopefully guests that are here for the holiday pass will be ziplining over the top of where Nordic ski jumpers are actually jumping. That would be best-case scenario."

Welch anticipates the jumps will be ready for practice and competition by the end of the month.

Speaking of competitions, UOP will host a few throughout the winter season, starting with a 2016 FIL Luge World Cup event in mid-December.

"That's a really cool event live and in person," Welch said. "We expect it to be an exciting winter event at the park. Another major event that we are hosting this winter is the 2017 FIS Nordic Junior and U23 World Ski Championships. … That's going to be a huge event because we have about 1,000 international junior athletes that come in from all over the world to compete in that event. … It's a great way to come out and experience those sports."

For more information on events at the Utah Olympic Park, or details on passes for winter activities, visit http://www.utaholympiclegacy.com.