Bid corp. outlines visions for Callaghan Valley 

Bid corp. outlines visions for Callaghan Valley

Three visions were outlined for the development of Callaghan Valley this week at an open house hosted by the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation.

"People have asked us what is going to happen to the valley if you put the venue in there," said George McKay director of the Callaghan Valley Master Plan process.

"So we thought we would get people together and talk about some ideas and options and try and articulate concepts that would provide some direction."

The valley has been selected to host the Nordic event centre should Vancouver and Whistler win the right to host the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee will decide that in July 2003.

The Nordic events account for about one-third of the more than 200 medals handed out at the Olympic Winter Games. Biathlon, cross-country ski racing, ski jumping and Nordic combined make up the Nordic program at the Games.

The Callaghan Valley site is 8.5 kilometres from the highway turn off. The turn-off is 12.7 kilometres from Whistler. Parts of the valley have been logged and there are other interests, including mining and backcountry activities, on-going in the vicinity.

Under option one the status quo would be maintained.

"We simply add the venue to the mix of activities that are in the valley," said McKay.

"We have to understand that from a bare bones point of view that is always an option."

In this option the athletes village would be outside the Callaghan Valley.

There would be public access to all crown land for both self-propelled and motorized recreational uses.

The existing commercial recreational tenures would be maintained, enabling the continuous operation and growth as outlined in management plans.

Current resource extraction would continue as outlined in existing agreements.

Option 2 is closest to the proposal which will be outlined in the Bid Book currently being put together by the Bid Corporation. The Bid Book must be submitted to the IOC in January. It describes how the Games will be hosted.

"This option is more closely aligned with the bid proposal," said McKay.

Titled "Lower Callaghan Focused Development" option 2 envisions an athletes village and training centre near the highway access.

This would be turned into resident restricted housing after the Games and a permanent residence for visiting athletes.

Transit to Whistler is part of the plan, as is "a capacity, developed over time, to accommodate 8,000 permanent residents."

The vision also discusses the development of a "relatively complete community, separate, yet related to Whistler."

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