After Some Adjustments, Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation Ready For Summer
The two Utah Olympic Legacy venues in the Wasatch Back are open for the summer. Visitors can expect some changes.
The Utah Olympic Park opened for the summer on Tuesday, the opening was slightly later than normal. Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation CEO Colin Hilton explains they're taking a measured approach in how they safely reopen all their venues.
“Folks can come up and tour through our museums at this point and then starting Thursday, we will be open with two of our 12 activities,” Hilton explained. “Down in the Heber Valley we've had Soldier Hollow Nordic center opens for about two weeks now. We're doing mountain e-bikes down there for rental. In the Olympic Oval, we've got our speed skaters, the national team, down in Kearns. They are training, we’ll be phasing opening for the rest of the public activities down there within about a week from now.”
The Utah Olympic Park requires masks for those who visit the museum, and distancing between groups of visitors. The alpine slide and extreme tubing are the only public activities planned to open, two-hour passes start at $50. Hilton says the teams training at Olympic venues are also practicing social distancing where possible and they are regularly cleaning facilities.
In addition to limited daily activities at the venues, they’re also pushing back and cancelling events, many of which take place at the Soldier Hollow complex.
The Dirty Dashes and those things have all been pushed back to the fall,” Hilton continued. “The dog classic, which obviously is one of those iconic things that we look forward to every year, that was unfortunate that we’ll not be able to do that this year. But it's the right thing to do. We do have other activities. We have what's called a Ford driving experience. We actually have folks who buy an Explorer or a Ford Edge, they come down and we have rented out the facility and parking lots, and folks have that. As a way for us to basically generate some income to help out with running this facility.”
Meanwhile Hilton says the state is moving forward with efforts to bring the Winter Olympics back to Utah in 2030 or 2034. He says current conditions highlight Utah as a smart choice for a future games.
“We actually have the facilities already built,” Hilton said. “We’re using them and maintaining them. We have steadily kept doing the capital improvements at all three of our legacy venues through this. So, we're spending about $7,000,000 this year on improvements at all three venues and that's getting us prepared. Right now the conversations are mostly building our relationships further with the LA 2028 games, because we would like to see back to back games 28 and 30. And our relationship with the IOC and US OPC about showing a what we're calling a new norm for hosting games that doesn't cost so much. I think we're the perfect place to do that.”