The Utah Olympic Park is almost impossible to miss as you drive toward Park City, UT on your way from Salt Lake City. It sits perched on the hillside above Kimball Junction just off I-80, with its three ski jumps standing out as its most striking and noticeable feature.
Throughout the years, the Utah Olympic Park has slowly evolved into a world-class year-round training facility for local athletes and recreation area for tourists. The Utah Olympic Park was purposely built for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and hosted events such as the bobsled, luge, skeleton, ski jumping, and Nordic combined. With its popularity growing, it now hosts multiple summer activities such as zip-lining, summer bobsled, an alpine slide, aerial training splash pools, and the Alf Engen Ski Museum.
“Phase 1” of the Utah Olympic Park opened last winter with great success. A new chairlift (formerly the Homestake chairlift at Deer Valley Ski Resort just up the road) opened up 11 acres of new skiable terrain with lighting for night riding. 5 runs for alpine skiing and snowboarding, 1 mogul run, and expanded freestyle terrain debuted and is used by local organizations such as the University of Utah Ski Team, Park City Ski & Snowboard, and Rowmark Ski Academy.
“It’s a great asset for the community.” Another great option for our kids to train.”
– Kristi Cumming, Vice-chair of the board at Park City Ski & Snowboard
Despite COVID-19, the Utah Olympic Park is forging ahead with “Phase 2” of its expansion plans. A lift would rise to the top of West Peak, near the current bobsled track. 10 new training runs across 30 acres of skiable terrain are expected to be completed, with a vertical drop of around 1,200 feet. The Utah Olympic Park hopes to host certified international alpine and mogul events in the new expansion area as well.
Looking back over the years, it’s crazy to think of how much has changed at the Utah Olympic Park. I remember when I was younger, and the only way to access the park when it was first being built was through the residential area from the south. I wish I remembered the exact year, but they definitely had the summer aerial pool training, bobsled track, and at least one ski jump built. It’s great to see how much the local community and tourists alike appreciate and visit the park. And you never know, maybe we’ll see another Olympics held there in the future.