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Whistler Sliding Centre to close for September

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Summer public tours of the Whistler Sliding Centre will come to a close on Aug. 31 so the track can be prepared for the winter.

One of only 15 sliding centres in the world, the Whistler Sliding Centre has been offering tours of the facility that will house the bobsled and luge events in Whistler during the 2010 Olympics.

Whistler Sliding Centre director Craig Lehto said in an interview that the centre is prepared at this time because it’s a slow month for tourists.

“It’s just more of a transitional period than anything else,” he said. “We had a great summer and a great introduction to the community and the visitors in Whistler had a great chance to take a look at the venue.”

Summer tours allow visitors to walk the track that spectators will crowd to during the Games to witness bobsled, skeleton and luge. Lehto said the tours are meant to give tourists a “base level of information” about sports that people are generally unfamiliar with outside the Olympics.

“Obviously they’re small sports, or unfamiliar sports within the Sea to Sky,” he said. “It’s important for us to develop a base for people and an interest.”

The centre will open for tours again on Oct. 7. At that time people will be able to take self-guided venue tours from Tuesday to Sunday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Costs for the tours is $5 per person.

The Whistler Sliding Centre will host bobsled and skeleton World Cup events from Feb. 2 to 7 and a luge World Cup from Feb. 16 to 21.

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