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Donations sought from Whistler Olympic Park visitors

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While visitors can tour Whistler Olympic Park for free this summer, Whistler Sports Legacies 2010 is asking for donations.

The suggested donations at the Callaghan facility this summer are $5 for an adult or $10 for a car, $2 for a cyclist, and $3 for seniors.

Money from the donations is hoped to cover the cost of having someone at the gate greeting people, explained a spokesperson from the society.

The rates were established on July 1 st .

Once inside the gate, visitors can explore the Olympic facilities, where the biathlon, cross country and ski jumping events were held last February.

Keith Bennett, Whistler Sports Legacies's president and CEO, added that even though the Whistler Olympic Park was built with public money, it has now been transferred to a private organization.

"While we're receiving funding from the Legacy Endowment Fund managed by the Games Operating Trust, our mandate is also to pursue opportunities to offset the cost of providing programs for residents, visitors and athletes," said Bennett.

"A gatekeeper is in place at Whistler Olympic Park because the site is still under construction and clean-up, so the gatekeeper greets visitors, tells them about where they can drive and what they'll see and keeps track of the number of visitors we get."

The park is open from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. daily until Thanksgiving.

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