Lasting local legacies 

Society yet to be formed

By Alison Taylor

The post-Games operations of the bobsled/luge track will be funded and managed by the Whistler Legacies Society.

That society has not yet been formed. But draft business plans have been developed by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic Games to assess the future operating costs and revenues of the Whistler venues — namely the sliding track and the Nordic centre.

Craig Lehto, VANOC’s director of sliding sports, said there is some understanding of how the track will operate after the Olympic Games.

“We’ve got a pretty good handle on what our plan is,” he said this week.

The track will be refrigerated for a 20-week operating season, stretching from mid-October to close to the end of February.

To start up that track every season uses enough energy to power roughly 600 homes for a day and a half. After a day and a half the power usage drops to the equivalent of about 300 homes. The track will run at 25 per cent on the average winter day, which is a reflection of how much hydro and power it will use.

For summertime operations when there is no ice in the track, they are looking for wheeled sleds to draw tourists to the area.

The province and the Government of Canada have each contributed $55 million to create a Legacy Endowment Fund. In addition to contributing to the ongoing operations of the Whistler Nordic Centre, the Whistler Sliding Centre and the Richmond speed skating oval, the $110 million fund will also help fund pre-Games operations of the three facilities.

At the end of 2005 the 2010 Operating Trust had gained almost $4 million in interest.

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