World Cup Bobsled & Skeleton Event In Park City Moved Due to Mechanical Issues
PARK CITY, Utah — An international bobsled and skeleton event had to be moved from Utah to Lake Placid, New York, due to mechanical issues at the Utah Olympic Park.
The decision to move the weeklong event was made after refrigeration pumps at the park — some of which have been in place since before the 2002 Winter Olympic Games — failed.
“Yeah, it’s not what we had hoped,” said Colin Hilton, CEO of Utah’s Olympic Legacy Foundation. “The pumps basically went kaput when we started up running the operations of the plant.”
Officials said the refrigeration pumps were turned on recently to start making ice for the track ahead of the BMW IBSF Bobsled & Skeleton World Cup, which was scheduled to be held in Park City from Nov. 24 through Dec. 1.
Utah Olympic Park officials said they will fix the refrigeration issue, but that will take time due to the cost and difficulty of the repairs.
“When we host the best sliders in the world for a World Cup, it has to be at the highest levels of standards,” said Colin Hilton, CEO of Utah’s Olympic Legacy Foundation. “If we don’t have redundancies in the pump systems, it’s a risky endeavor. The last thing you want to do is say you can do it and that have something fail and not have a backup.
“Unfortunately, these kinds of pumps aren’t ones you can go to your local Home Depot. They’re made in Germany and have a little bit of a lead time that won’t allow us to be able to have the World Cup this end of November.”
Officials with the Park City Chamber of Commerce said the area doesn’t see a lot of economic impact from the World Cup event from a visitation standpoint.
However, from an international media attention standpoint, Park City Chamber of Commerce communications director Dan Howard said it will be a loss because “it kicks off the winter season for us in some ways.”
There is another, smaller event planned for the sliding track in mid-December and the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation thinks the pumps will be replaced and the track will be ready to go by then.
“Our team is working through it and we’ll be open as soon as possible,” Hilton said.
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