Utah Olympic Park Residences offer less expensive hotel accommodations for athletes. (Cassie Revelli)
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PARK CITY – For all the million dollar views of Utah, Park City lives up to the best of them.
“We are so spoiled here. We take it for granted that we live and play in a tourist destination all year round,” said Cassie Revelli, who works at Park City.
However, even Revelli knows that looking for a hotel in Park City these days can feel like you need a million bucks.
“It’s definitely getting a little tricky,” she said.
This is why she is proud to be the Director of Residences at the Utah Olympic Park. This is a building that offers lower cost hotel style rooms and apartments for athletes training in Park City. This way, athletes who hope to become Olympians can focus on training instead of working.
“So that you can stay focused and (have) certain things taken off your plate, you know we’ll be there for you whenever you need to reach out,” Revelli said.
Revelli is a former skeleton racer and says having something like this available to her when she was training at Park City would have been a game-changer.
“It would have saved me a lot of time commuting from Salt Lake. It would have been amazing,” she said.
During ski season, rooms here cost $ 100 per night per night. Revelli says it’s still about 30% cheaper than the average Park City hotel room during the winter season. Fares are cheaper if you need a few weeks or months to practice.
“We have the longer term apartments,” Revelli said. “They can stay as long as they need to. We understand this athletic world where you don’t live your life six months or twelve like a traditional lease.”
Utah Olympic Park residences are also available to international athletes. Many train in Park City, as do athletes based in the United States.
“We want to welcome everyone here,” Revelli said.
Being able to stay and train at a more affordable price allows athletes who do not come from well-off families to achieve their Olympic dreams. Most of the American athletes who stay at the residences are from out of state and do not have sponsors to pay for their travel.
“Yeah, I probably wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have this option of staying here,” said Audrey Higgins-Lopez.
Higgins-Lopez is a downhill skier from New York who trains in Park City to improve himself and maybe one day make an Olympic team.
“I don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t there,” she said.
The residences opened in 2019 as part of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation’s mission to help develop champions. It is built next to the Utah Olympic Park where athletes train for sports like bobsleigh, skeleton, skiing and snowboarding.
“We’re close to the venues so the athletes can ski up the hill and back down in the winter, which is so much fun seeing our runs,” said Revelli.
It’s even more fun when the athletes who have stayed here are doing well in competition.
“We can have that little extra joy for them to know that their community here at the Utah Olympic Park Residences is behind them,” Revelli said.
Beijing 2022 will be the first Winter Olympics since the construction of this facility. There is a chance that a medalist from these Games has stayed here to train and make that dream come true.