Salt Lake City, Feb. 4 (AP)–The site for the Olympic biathlon and cross-country skiing events would get a $700,000 day lodge under a bill that cleared the House on Thursday.
The bill also sets aside $260,000 to build a train depot for the Heber Valley Historic Railroad.
Rep. Gordon Snow, R-Roosevelt, said the spending would make sure the two attractions look their best for 2002 Olympic visitors. Snow said he hopes to have the ski lodge built in time for next ski season.
The bill passed the House 45-26 and will go the Senate, where an identical bill is scheduled for a committee hearing Friday.
Rep. Jordan Tanner, R-Provo, warned that the expenditure would snowball, committing the state to an entire new series of winter sports programs.
“I hope all of us know exactly what we’re doing when we vote for it,” he said.
But Rep. David Ure, R-Kamas, said the day lodge at Soldier Hollow is needed and will help generate interest in cross-country skiing among the area’s youth.
“Ten years from now you’ll find this will be the best venue that has been preserved when the Olympics are through,” said Ure.
The state has spent $59 million to build venues for the 2002 Winter Games. The Salt Lake Organizing Committee has agreed to repay the state after the games are over, plus set up a legacy fund to pay for post-Olympic maintenance of the venues.
Copyright (c) 2000 The Associated Press