Big White, Apex resorts lost out to Sun Peaks in Olympic bid | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Big White, Apex resorts lost out to Sun Peaks in Olympic bid

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Sun Peaks Resort

The Canadian Olympic Committee is considering Sun Peaks Resort in its bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics.

Sun Peaks Mayor Al Raine said it was around nine months ago that the Olympic committee called the resort municipality to ask if they'd be interested in the 2030 bid.

"A lot of water to be crossed before we get to the land on the other side," Raine added, explaining that the committee hasn't decided whether Sun Peaks would be included in Canada's official bid to the International Olympic Committee.

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Once finalized, the Kamloops-area ski resort could host freestyle skiing and snowboarding events at the 2030 Winter Games. Raine said it would include all the events hosted at Cypress Mountain in 2010.

The potential 2030 Olympic bid is centred around the City of Vancouver, Whistler and four First Nations in the Lower Mainland. The communities are still studying how feasible it might be to host the games again.

Raine believes the decision to explore the potential for events at Interior resorts was due to a warming climate affecting coastal resorts like Cypress.

Even in 2010, the West Vancouver resort had issues with snow, both Raine and Big White Resort's Michael Ballingall said.

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Ballingall said both Big White near Kelowna and Apex Mountain Resort near Penticton were in the running to be considered for the Winter Olympic bid together, but they lost to Sun Peaks.

"We don't have enough water," he said. "Snow making won the day."

Those studying which resort would be best for the games found Sun Peaks had a superior system to make snow if the winter weather isn't favourable for skiing and snowboarding events, Ballingall said.

However, he said it makes more economic sense to host all the events at one resort, which is why Sun Peaks leads the running, not the joint Big White and Apex proposal.

"Sometimes you've got to take your competitive hat off and say this is great for B.C. and for Canada," Ballingall said.

He's confident a bid for the Winter Games that includes any Interior resort along with both Vancouver and Whistler would be a strong contender for the International Olympic Committee.

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Raine said an official announcement is expected in June to finalize the proposal, which would lay out how the games could be hosted in B.C. once again in 2030.

He added that while Sun Peaks and the City of Kamloops are involved with the feasibility study, four First Nations in the area are also very much involved with the proposal. Those include Tk'emlups te Secwepemc, Little Shuswap Indian Band, Adams Lake Indian Band and Neskonlith Indian Band.

Raine said that along with all the community's efforts at the resort municipality to bring a school, healthcare and other amenities to make Sun Peaks more than a resort but a viable place to live year-round, hosting the Olympic Games would be the "icing on the cake."

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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