Despite COVID-19 Slump, Construction of the Utah Olympic Park Expansion is Still on Schedule
The gradual expansion of the Utah Olympic Park’s facilities in Kimball Junction is aimed at offering year-round training opportunities for local athletes. Phase one of the project was completed last year and fundraising for phase two is well underway.
The UOP has seen regular year-round use by elite athletes from around the world and members of the public since the conclusion of the 2002 Winter Olympics.
The facilities slowly grew over the years from the original ski jumps, water ramps, and bobsled track to include recreational activities for the general public and the installation of rope tows allowing for short training laps by aspiring skiers and snowboarders.
That small rope-tow space proved to be so popular that the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation broke ground last summer on an ambitious $11 million expansion project to provide even more world-class training and competition venues at the site.
The first phase of the project was opened last winter and included a new chairlift, five lanes for alpine skiing and snowboarding, one mogul lane, and expanded space for freestyle across 11 acres of lighted terrain. Currently, the University of Utah ski team, Park City Ski & Snowboard, and the Rowmark Ski Academy all call the UOP home.
Kristi Cumming, vice-chair of the board at Park City Ski & Snowboard, has been heavily involved in the fundraising efforts for the UOP expansion project. She says although COVID-19 complicated the use of the new facilities in the spring, feedback was positive on the expansion’s first winter.
“You know, we finished phase one and that is a huge success,” she said. “Unfortunately, because of COVID, we didn’t see the long-term spring use of that facility and everyone is very excited about the training facility and the way it turned out and the quick turnaround that athletes can get from bottom to top so that has been very successful.”
Phase two of the project is even bigger and is slated to expand to the peak just west of the UOP. Construction is scheduled to be complete by the fall of 2021 and will provide a second chairlift, 30 acres of snowmaking and lighted terrain, and up to 10 new training lanes offering 1,200 feet of vertical drop. The expansion also allows for alpine and mogul venues that could be certified for international competitions.
Cumming says once completed, the UOP expansion will bring even more value to the community.
“It’s a great asset for this community,” she said. “Another great option for our kids to train.”
More information on the programs and facilities at the UOP can be found at the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation's website.