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Sunshine Village to get 2010 legacy from Whistler

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Sunshine Village ski resort in Banff, Alberta is buying Whistler's temporary Olympic chairlift.

That lift will be transporting media, broadcasters, spectators and Olympic workforce from the base of the mountain to the Timing Flats at the Creekside alpine venue during the Games.

The lift was never intended to hang around Whistler long-term.

Now it will be Sunshine's legacy.

"Many of the most successful Canadian skiers operate out of the Bow Valley - Banff, Canmore, Calgary - and in Calgary we still very fondly remember the 1988 Olympics and what it meant to us," said Doug Firby, associate director of communications, media and marketing for Sunshine Village. "And so to have a memento from the 2010 Games is especially important in the Banff area. I just think it's a thrill for a lot of people to know that there'll be something tangible there as a reminder of the 2010 Games."

Firby would not disclose the details of the sale other than to say it was "mutually satisfactory" to both Olympic organizers and Sunshine.

The Olympic lift will be replacing the 35-year-old Strawberry chair at Sunshine, which serves all the easiest green runs from the village base.

"It serves a role that is a little bit unique," said Firby. "If there are beginner skiers in our village, this would be the first lift that they would go to."

Having a new detachable high-speed quad ferrying beginners will be a great improvement because it will allow passengers to get on and off more easily than the old chair.

The lift line is just over 500 metres with 41 chairs. It was installed in the wake of the 2008 test event at Creekside when it became obvious to the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Games that it needed alternate ways for people to get to the Timing Flats.

Sunshine will begin installing the chair in April, after the Games, and it will be operational by next season.

 

 

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