Utah Olympic Park’s second expansion

PARK CITY, Utah — The Utah Olympic Park (UOP), a United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) Training Site, is gearing up for a phase-two development within its existing 390 acres. Approximately three years ago, the phase-one expansion was completed, the added value of which includes a chairlift and an alpine ski/snowboard hill utilized by affiliated teams. 

Ground has already been broken as ‘the Park’ prepares for the infrastructure that will support development on the north-facing slope, adjacent to the bobsled/skeleton/luge track, where the Yeti hiking and mountain biking trail, popular with the public, serpentines.

The location of the second expansion underway at the Utah Olympic Park.
The location of the second expansion underway at the Utah Olympic Park. Photo: Michele Roepke

Once completed, the new expansion will encompass 25 acres of as-yet undeveloped mountainside accommodating two main ski runs:

  • a 3300 foot in length, alpine, giant slalom (GS)/slalom (SL) run with 1200 vertical feet known in this preliminary stage as “Olympic Hopeful”
  • a 1500 foot in length, SL/mogul run with 750 verticle feet

There will be LED lighting preventing a repeat of the first night in 1996 when the tower lights were switched on and many residents of the Kimball Junction area were rather surprised and shocked at the brightness of the lit-up hillside. The lights later had structural shields added above them.

The expansion is proposed to have a new, high-speed, quad chairlift. The one installed in the phase-one expansion was purchased used from Deer Valley Resort, the former Homestake Lift. Callum Clark, Operations Director for the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, who is charged with helping keep the bid alive and kicking for Salt Lake City to host another winter Olympic Games, spoke at last night’s public meeting. Clark, who thought he’s seen and done it all in regards to the ski industry in the more than a decade he spent managing global events for US Ski and Snowboard quipped, “I’ve never really been shopping for a chairlift before, it’s an interesting process.”

The UOP’s plans also call for a 1.3 million gallon snowmaking pond, and an upgraded snowmaking system, to which Clark decried in the meeting open to the public, “We’ll have the snowmaking equipment, what we desperately need now is the snowmaking weather,” referring to the fact that they are used to colder temperatures earlier in seasons than they’re experiencing this week as they attempt to make snow, a process which requires a prolonged state of freezing degrees.

 Just as the digging has begun for this project, so has the fundraising.

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