Whistler Mountain’s Creekside operations will get a new temporary chairlift and an upgrade to the Orange Chair as part of the outfitting to get ready for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
It’s not the only finished competition venue where work is continuing.
Whistler Olympic Park in the Callaghan Valley, the site of the Nordic events and ski jumping, has had work on the day lodge, the ski jump refrigeration systems, the recreational trail bridge railings, as well as some safety improvements.
At Cypress Mountain near Vancouver, the site of the freestyle and snowboarding events, work has been done on the tower snow guns, the access route and the handle tow.
Venues costs continue to creep up as the 2010 Games get closer. But Olympic organizers say that construction costs will not go above the government funded $580 million budget and they will not be asking for more money.
“We have said all along that our budget is $580 million and it is still going to be completed for $580 million,” said the Vancouver Organizing Committee’s CFO John McLaughlin at the release of the organization’s annual report recently.
“It really is no more money. We are not asking for any more money. We won’t ask for any more money, so again, from our perspective we are going to complete (the venues) on-time and on-budget.”
Dan Doyle, VANOC’s executive vice president construction, explained that costing and building Olympic venues is unique in that you have to plan and budget for changes you don’t know about.
“I kept the cost in the actual projects tight and kept a large central contingency… to bring efficiency to it,” he explained.
“The thing that is different about the Olympic venues is that they have to be homologated and that means the international sport federations come in, try out the facilities and they say they are good but you have to do this, that, or the other thing.
“The contingency at the end will be zero and we will certainly not overspend the budget, but we will be right on it.”
Doyle said VANOC never expected there to be money in the contingency at the end and that is standard in the management of mega projects.
The spectators at test events are also part of the mix.
At last year’s World Cup downhill at Creekside many people struggled to get up on foot to the Timing Flats so VANOC has decided to put in a temporary chairlift. It will be open to all users. There will be also be a trail for those who want to walk and some shuttle bus services will run too.