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Soldier Hollow to expand training facilities, public venues

Sidney Bennion start.JPG
Ben Lasseter
/
KPCW
Soldier Hollow biathlete Sidney Bennion starts her 12.5-kilometer individual race in the 2022 IBU Youth World Championships, at the Soldier Hollow Nordic Center course last February.

A cross-country and biathlon ski venue in the Heber Valley will get its biggest upgrade since it hosted Olympic events in 2002.

The Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation is investing heavily in a renovation and expansion at its venue just outside Midway.

The Soldier Hollow Nordic Center is home to a world-class ski racing course, as well as day ski terrain. Construction to expand a building at the center of its race track to create more spaces for athletes, fans and recreators begins in spring of 2023. Currently, the building houses ski patrol, announcers and administrative offices, but not as much for its youth and athlete programs as some would like.

General Manager and former Olympian Luke Bodensteiner says the $10 million upgrade will serve competitors by expanding training facilities and building out a public area for casual skiers. It also impacts Soldier Hollow’s mountain biking programs.

“This is really going to assist Soldier Hollow in kind of broadening its appeal to a lot more people,” he says. “Bringing the Nordic center down into this new renovated building just makes it easier for the general skiing public and beginners to get into more appropriate terrain that maybe we have now at the lodge.”

He also says it’ll improve food and beverage options and create an apres-ski environment.

According to data from Soldier Hollow, the venue had over 35,000 skier visits last year. It hosts national and international biathlon, cross-country and Nordic combined races each year.

The goal of the project is to finish in time to host the International Biathlon Union World Cup in February 2024.

Bodensteiner says it’s also an investment in the possibility that the Winter Olympics will return to Utah in 2030 or 2034.

Ben Lasseter reports for KPCW in Wasatch County. Before moving to Heber City, Ben worked in Manti as a general assignment newspaper reporter and editor.
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