Whistler Sport Legacies (WSL) didn't have to go too far to find a new managing director for Whistler Olympic Park.
The not-for-profit organization announced on Aug. 28 it had hired Tim Hope to take over the position from a retiring Lindsay Durno. Hope will officially start in his new position on Oct. 1.
"It's a fantastic opportunity and we have a fantastic facility out there," said Hope, a 20-year resident of the area. "It's an honour to take the helm from Lindsay."
Durno was the park's director from Whistler Sport Legacies' inception and was responsible for transitioning the facility from an Olympic venue to its current use as a Nordic centre.
Hope's current position has him focusing primarily on asset management and project oversight, a role in which he's served since WSL's formation in 2010.
"As we've made changes and done some capital work on our facilities over the past five years, I've been involved in the project management and planning," he said.
Hope has also worked with the IT department as it was brought in-house, oversaw building improvements and master planning programs and worked to develop best practices, policies and procedures at all three Whistler Sport Legacies venues — the park, Whistler Sliding Centre and Whistler Athletes' Centre.
Prior to joining WSL, Hope, like Durno, worked with Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games in the lead-up to the winter event. Hope's team helped plan, design and build the Nordic venue at the park, which helped provide him with experience for the current role.
"It was an important part of working with more stakeholders on logistics from our television broadcasters to our sport group," Hope said. "I think I've really refined my collaboration (skills) and (can) bring people together to move forward in a defined direction."
Hope's goal is to continue providing sporting opportunities for not only the established athletes who visit, but also those who use the park recreationally.
"I hope we continue to be an important part of the community and help to contribute to sport in the area and the athlete journey," he said. "(The goal is) to continue growing, improve on what we're doing and find new ways we can service our athletes and provide a great journey for them as they come in.
"For recreational users, (we'll) be a key part of providing meaningful experiences from our passholders making improvements on their technique and setting personal bests on some of the trails to families tobogganing."
Hope noted a "strategic planning session" is planned, specifically focusing on summer activities, but didn't have further details about what he envisions for the park's future.
"We see opportunities. We're just working to make sure they fit with our strategic direction," he said.
The park has subsequently been used more and more in the summer, with events like Tough Mudder and the Red Bull 400 using the venue in recent years.
WSL president and CEO Roger Soane said there were several applications for the job, but Hope fit into the team's puzzle perfectly, as he's already familiar with the park and with WSL's plans for it. Soane noted Hope also brings a technical and operations skill set that the organization needs.
"He's done a great job and has been involved in Whistler Olympic Park in a number of different areas," Soane said, noting Hope's most recent major project was supervising the building of ski jumps at the park. "What he lacks in his knowledge of the sports side of the Nordic field, he certainly makes up for in ability when it comes to managing the physical plan.
"When you're managing an organization, it's a bit like building a puzzle and we have a lot of very strong sport people."