Here are the details on the new solar array at the Utah Olympic Oval!

Last week the Utah Olympic Oval announced plans to move towards a more sustainable Olympic venue. In collaboration with several high-profile public and private business partners the Olympic Oval broke ground on a new, large-scale solar array right here in the parking lot.

These are some details regarding the electric bill that the Oval currently runs up:

The Utah Olympic Oval is open year-round, 363 days a year, with 100 tons of refrigeration capacity and 5.44 acres of conditioned clear span space. That being said, the building consumes approximately six million kilowatt house (kWh) annually and on average the electrical utility costs exceed $750,000.

Here are some project facts:

  • The Rocky Mountain Power grant of $564,000, paid over five years, is the largest contribution through their Utah Solar Incentive Program.
  • The 791 kW Solar Array, consisting of 3,108 solar modules, will be mounted on parking canopy shade structures in the parking lot south and adjacent to the Utah Olympic Oval.
  • The solar energy system will generate over one million kWh annuals. This will reduce the building’s need for market-rate power by approximately 20% resulting in an average energy cost savings of approximately $100,000 annually.
  • While many solar projects have long term (15 to 20 years) return on investment projections, the Olympic Oval solar project is forecasted to pay for itself in less than five years through the support of community grants and tax credits.
  • Capturing clean energy through a large solar array allows the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation to achieve the goal of reducing known long-term energy consumption costs in a meaningful and fiscally sound way.

The Utah Olympic Oval has already earned its place in Olympic history and with continued collaboration efforts, the Oval is prepared to continue its attempt to reduce costs so more money can be used to train the next generation of Olympic athletes.

Expected Completion is October of 2014.

The solar array is officially under construction!

The solar array is officially under construction!

A digital rendering of the finished  product.

A digital rendering of the finished product.

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THE DROP TOWER

The other day I had the opportunity to experience one of The Utah Olympic Park’s newer attractions, The Drop Tower.  My little 10 year old sister, Gracie, and my 8 year old cousin, Connor, came along for the ride.  Let me just start by saying, these kids are fearless.  They like to rock climb, ski, and do anything that gets their adrenaline going.  The Drop Tower definitely gave them butterflies in their stomach as they stood 65 feet up in the air, waiting to jump.

The experience starts as you wait for a staff member to get your harness and helmet ready at the base of the Drop Tower.  While waiting, you get to watch as others take that giant leap of faith off the tower, most of them letting out a little scream as they free fall for the first 20 feet.  Once you are all ready to go, it is a short walk to the top where you will zipline to the Drop Tower.  Gracie and Connor had no fear as they soared high above the trees on the zipline towards the Drop Tower.  Once we got to the tower, the staff let us pick between two different lines to drop from.  The orange line lets you free fall for the first 20 feet, while the blue line lowers you down a little slower the whole way.  Feeling confident, Gracie and I chose the orange line and Connor chose the blue.  Gracie was first up to drop.  As she slowly got closer to the edge, you could see her nerves kicking in.  After the staff member told her she was clear to go, she jumped, and everyone around cheered.  Connor and I followed.  The 20 foot free fall at the beginning definitely gives you a rush.  It was quite the thrilling experience.  Though it can be a challenge to willingly step off a 65 foot tower, it is worth it!  If you have a chance to try it out this summer, do it!  It was such a fun experience.

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Gracie and Connor waiting to zipline to the Drop Tower

The Comet Bobsled Ride: Are you up for the thrill?

While watching the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, many of us sat at home admiring the talented Olympic athletes wondering what it might be like to be in their shoes.  What it might be like to be the most graceful figure skater, to be the furthest ski jumper, or to be the fastest bobsledder. If you were one of those people wondering, then the Utah Olympic Park has an Olympic bobsled ride that will give you that thrill.  The Utah Olympic Park has one of the two luge tracks that are in the United States and opens it to the public to experience both in the summer and winter.

The Summer Comet Bobsled ride at the Utah Olympic Park is an experience for all the thrill seekers out there.  As the shuttle takes you up to the top of the track you see riders screaming down in the Comet Bobsled so fast that you start to get butterflies in your stomach knowing that in just moments that will be you.  At the top, you are given a helmet and a few tips on how to make the ride a little smoother for yourself (listen carefully).  As you wait for your turn to ride down the track, you will see other riders pushing bobsleds at the starting line.  Volunteer to help!  Because let’s be honest, if you want to get the full experience, you need to push a bobsled.  One of the best parts about waiting at the top is seeing the faces of riders that have just returned from the bottom of the track.  Grinning from ear to ear, they will tell you about the amazing thrill of racing down the track (and sometimes you will see them try to sneak in another ride).  Once it is your turn, you pick your spot in the sled. In second seat, directly behind your professional driver, you will have the smoothest ride, while in fourth seat, the back of the sled, you will feel the most force.  Reaching speeds of 70 MPH, this is a ride for the adrenaline junkies out there.  As you fight to keep your body in the correct upright position through the bank turns, you can’t help but be amazed by the athletes that practice running through the track multiple times a day. The G-Force is so strong, just going down the track once is exhausting.  When you get out of your sled, you hear the fastest speed you reached on the track and your race time.  Get some heavy people in your sled and you might have a shot of being the fastest time of the day!  As you return with your sled to the top of the track you can’t help but be envious of the people that are waiting for their turn to go down the track.  

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If you are looking for a unique and exciting experience to try out this summer, come to the Utah Olympic Park and try the Comet Bobsled ride.  You will be overcome by Olympic spirit again, and maybe even find your inner drive to become an Olympic bobsledder.

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Cool off at the Oval at the 2nd Annual Frozen 5K +10K!!

Step out of the sizzling July heat and into the cool Utah Olympic Oval for your next personal record at the 2nd annual Frozen 5K + 10K indoor race this upcoming Saturday, July 19th!

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Not only will you be racing in an official U.S. Olympic Training Site surrounding the “Fastest Ice on Earth,” but you will also be running in a LEED-certified, climate-controlled arena with temperatures that range between 63 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, which sounds awfully n-ICE compared to Saturday’s forecasted temperature of 97 degrees! The track surrounding the ice is considered the fastest track surface in the industry, manufactured by Mondo USA. The Mondo Super X Performance track has a patented biochemical design that offers runners a consistent feel and maximum energy absorption and return.

 Here is a list of event schedule and times:

-Both the 5K and 10K will begin at 9am, with packet pickup being the morning of the race.

-Packet pickup will be from 7:00-8:30am for those that are already registered. Your race packet will include your Transponder, race number, your race t-shirt, along with coupons.

-Early registration ends on July 13. After that, late and day of registration prices will increase in price.

-Day of registration will only be from 7:00-8am. It is highly recommended that you register prior to race day, however.

-Awards will be given to top finishers.

-We will be using the MYLAPS transponder system, which will allow you to see your overall time as well as lap time. We will also be using FinishLynx Photo-Finish system for ultimate timing accuracy.

 Lastly, check out some pictures from last year’s race!

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Derek Parra doing his thing!

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Looks like a winner!

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Ready, set, go!

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Run, run, run!

 

 

Western Day

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One of our favorite things about summers here at the Utah Olympic Park are the events that we get to put on for the public to enjoy. Coming up this Saturday, July 19th, we will be having Western Day at the Utah Olympic Park. It is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon with your family out in the fresh Park City air. From country music to games, it is sure to be a fun-filled day for all. Festivities will be held at the Olympic Plaza. They begin at noon and last until 4:00 PM. Make sure to hurry on up because the first 100 lucky guests to arrive at noon will receive a free cowboy hat!

No need to worry if you aren’t one of the first 100 guests to arrive, because all of the activities on the plaza will be free as well. Activities include bounce houses, games, country music, and a mechanical bull will be available from noon to 2 pm. That’s right, a mechanical bull. It doesn’t get more country than that! You can even do a little line dancing if you feel inspired to do so. To top off your western day we will have some homemade BBQ and cold drinks available on the plaza. 

Go dust off your cowboy boots and get ready for a fun afternoon with the family!

Featured Activity of the Week: Guided Tour!

Led by a trained and informative guide, the guided tour is a great way to explore the entire park, gain some knowledge about the park’s history and learn how it was built.
The tour starts with a visit to the Aerials Pool, where guests can watch aspiring athletes train- trying out new tricks and flips off the jumps. After loading onto the tour bus, guests are taken to the Nordic Center, where the base of the Nordic Ski Jumps and Discovery Adventure Course are located and the Freestyle and Extreme Zip Lines end. Often, tour groups are able to watch ski jump athletes in training on the hill.
Guests are then shuttled to the top of the bobsled track. From the men’s luge start house visitors are able to look down the track, gaining an athlete’s perspective. As a grand finale, guests get to visit the top of the nordic ski jumps and learn some tips and tricks that are used during athlete training.
The guided tour is great for people and families of all ages and abilities. At approximately an hour long, it’s a great introduction to Utah Olympic Park and all of the activites here.
The tour runs hourly from 11 am to 3 pm, seven days a week. Tickets can be purchased online here or in the Quinney Welcome Center and are $10 for adults, $7 for kids and seniors.