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Death knell sounds for Whistler’s ‘iconic’ roof

Premier’s plans for similar roof on Robson Square quash hopes



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But Dave Rudberg, general manager of Vancouver’s Olympic operations, said Tuesday he had yet to see the official drawings of the structure and the city had not received a formal submission for the plans.

“I don’t even know if there will be a submission,” said Rudberg.

There is still much to be done, he added. Unlike Whistler, the Robson Square roof project has not gone through any public consultation. That will take time, as will moving through the approvals process at Vancouver City Hall.

“Even right now it’s a very, very tight timeframe,” added Rudberg.

And therein lies a glimmer of hope for Whistler said Lorriman.

If the premier likes the idea of showcasing the wood products so much — like the log home at the Torino 2006 Games and the wooden arches outside the Beijing Pavilion planned for the 2008 Games — perhaps he will throw his support behind Whistler’s project if the timelines prove too challenging in Vancouver.

“It doesn’t mean I’m giving up,” he said, while realizing that Whistler’s time is also quickly running out if it is to get this project off the ground by the Games. The funding would need to be secured by the middle of next month if it is to be ready in time for the 2010 Olympics.

For the project’s architect, Vancouver-based Bing Thom, the Whistler location is the perfect place to show off B.C. wood, particularly during the Games when the roof structure will be continually beamed via TV into billions of homes.

“Whistler… is the best place to show off the wood,” said Thom. “If you want exposure there’s no better place for exposure for wood than Whistler.”

Unlike the Robson Square venue, which is not an official Live Site Olympic venue, the Whistler rink/roof structure is in Celebration Plaza — the heart of 2010 celebrations in the resort. This is where the nightly celebrations and medals ceremonies will take place.

Both locations — Robson Square and Lot 1/9 — are dear to people’s hearts.

That was no more evident than this Christmas with the decorations strung out on trees on Lot 1/9 appealing for them not to be destroyed by the development of Celebration Plaza.

And, said Zeidler, the response to the roof structure project appeared to be mixed in the community, particularly as it related to the cost and the ongoing maintenance of the roof/rink.

“Through the whole Lot 1/9 process for many people there was a hope and a dream for something physically iconic that would remind us all of the Olympics….” he said.