The Nordic Stadium would include three kilometres of cross-country trails for training, five kilometres of brand new competition trails, a timing hut for biathlon events and power, sewer and water hook-ups to the buildings making up the Mountain Sports Centre.
“I’ve never felt so optimistic as now,” said Don Sharpe, Resort Director, Business Services. Sharpe was expecting a decision on the grant application to come after the Marmot went to press.
The money will be applied to Legacies Now funding, for a total project cost of $660,000.
From a team attraction perspective, the committee will send a contingent to World Cup Cross-Country races at Silver Star and Canmore, Alta. “What we want to do is meet the coaches and managers – the people who run the teams – and tell them they’ve got to be coming over here,” Sharpe said.
Mount Washington isn’t the only resort chasing the Olympic dream, Sun Peaks Resort in Kamloops is investing $3 million in its own Race Centre. However, Sharpe doesn’t expect Sun Peaks’ plans to interfere with Mount Washington’s plans.
“Sun Peaks’ project will be for alpine skiing. We’re focusing on nordic,” Sharpe said. Sun Peaks has already spent $1 million upgrading its Coquihalla run (now called the Nancy Greene International Race Centre) with improved snowmaking, safety netting and wiring for the electronic timing of races. The run was also opened up to allow for high-speed slalom and giant-slalom racing.
The Comox Valley’s Spirit of Community Committee is also planning a four-year countdown event for February 11, 2006, at Simms Millennium Park in Courtenay.
Last year’s countdown saw former Olympians from Vancouver Island parade through the park, signing autographs along with Special Olympians who hosted the 2005 Provincial Summer Games in the Comox Valley last June.