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List of recreational, commercial uses considered for Callaghan

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No decisions on post-Olympic facilities

How about a golf course in the Callaghan Valley?

Or an RV park and campground?

These are all options mentioned for the area post 2010 Olympic Winter Games in a document titled Conceptual Vision for the Callaghan Valley, which appeared on the Bid Corporation’s Web site last week.

"Right now we are looking with a clean slate as to what this could look like," said Richard Way, manager of technical sports for the Vancouver Whistler 2010 Bid Corporation.

"We don’t want to close the doors early."

The Bid will have to create an area at the Nordic site where television and technical crews can set up and get power to televise the Olympic events around the world, should they win the right to host the Games in 2010.

It would be possible, said Way, for this same site to be turned into a campground after the Games.

There is even discussion of it being run by First Nations people in conjunction with an Aboriginal interpretative and cultural centre.

Also under discussion is a municipal golf course somewhere in the valley.

The document goes on to outline some of the activities which might take place in the area once the Games are over.

They include:

• A day-use public and commercial trail centre, day lodge, and facilities for an International Nordic Destination Centre.

• Additional non-mechanized trail network for snowshoeing, ski touring and mountain biking, hiking, and/or equestrian trails (public, commercial and sport development).

• A mechanized trail network for snowmobiling and ATV trails, public and commercial.

• First Nations interpretative/cultural centre and First Nations guided activities.

• A wellness centre.

• Continued and/or expanded use for snowmobiling, heliskiing, ski touring and other licensed commercial recreation.

• Hut to hut system for summer and winter use with staging areas for cross country and public recreation access to lands beyond.

Some family activities being considered for the area include a tubing park, VolksRodel run – a family fun sled trail – and a ski play area.

A kids’ shooting range is under consideration using the biathlon target range.

Even bungee jumping is being considered for the valley.

But nothing is decided yet.

Whistler Mayor Hugh O’Reilly believes this is an opportunity for the community to look at what facilities might add to the quality of life in the valley.

"I think they are trying to probably look at what opportunities might exist when we are putting that kind of infrastructure in and that is really where the community has opportunity to look at input," said O’Reilly.

"If people like it that is great... but if the feedback is really negative it doesn’t in any way affect the actual Olympic venues."

While O’Reilly believes the working groups are being diligent in gathering information on the valley it’s impossible to really comment on the plans until they become more concrete, he said.

Mitch Rhodes, past president and member of the board of directors of the Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment, also needs more information before commenting.

"The Bid keeps saying it is not right to comment until you have information," said Rhodes.

"Well when are we going to be receiving it?

"You can’t be giving people information two months before the bid is supposed to be in. When are these plans all going to become official plans people can comment on?"

But, said Rhodes, AWARE will be monitoring all Olympic development plans to ensure they are sustainable.

"With all the Olympic venues AWARE’s perspective is that they are done under the framework of the sustainability initiative that Whistler has undertaken."

More information will be available at the Bid Corporation’s new information centre which opens today (Friday, Jan. 25).

Bid officials will host an open house from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. and again Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The centre is located at 4365 Blackcomb Way, next to the BrewHouse restaurant and across form Esquire Coffee House.

Meanwhile the municipality will host it’s own information session at the end of February to present options for the athlete’s village to Whistler residents.

It’s likely the open house will be held Feb. 20 and again on Feb. 23. The place and time are yet to be set.

In every option the athlete’s village would be built on Crown land and it does not involve an increase in the bed unit cap.

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