Alberta’s government is providing $17.5 million in funding to WinSport for planned renovations to the Frank King Day lodge facility.
The lodge is a central hub for the Canada Olympic Park ski hill and surrounding buildings. The upgrades planned will extend the overall lifecycle of the building.
“The 1988 Olympics were important and what’s happening today here is just as important,” said Alberta Minister of Culture, Ron Orr.
Orr said the lodge is a gathering place for the winter sporting community and for the public that visits the historic site.
“Canada Olympic Park is a key tourist attraction for the city and benefits sport in so many ways, and as an integral part of this legacy site, the day Lodge has literally welcomed millions of athletes and visitors annually for the past 30 plus years.”
The enhanced facility will be more accessible and inclusive for all, including visitors with disabilities and para-athletes. It will also use climate-resistance building materials.
The Minister of Environment and Parks, Whitney Issik said the upgrades will protect the environment and create a space that is more inclusive and accessible for visitors and athletes to enjoy for years to come.”
“WinSport has taken impressive steps to consider improved energy efficiency, fewer emissions, more efficient water use and enhanced climate resiliency with its proposed renovations,” she said.
According to the Minister of Infrastructure, Nicholas Milliken, the renovations project will support well-paid jobs in construction and trades.
“The renovations to the Frank King Day Lodge will help reduce WinSport’s operating costs so they can welcome even more athletes, visitors and families through their doors,” said Milliken.
“For decades, millions of people have enjoyed the lodge’s amenities, and this support will ensure that Canada Olympic Park continues to be a major tourist destination for years to come.”
Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education and MLA for Calgary-Bow, said the project will benefit the community while also enhancing the user experience for those who visit the historic space and for the athletes who train and compete there.
“As MLA for Calgary-Bow, I was pleased to champion this project. Canada Olympic Park’s importance both as a sport training facility and as a tourist attraction is unquestionable,” said Nicolaides.
$35 million in funding confirmed
President and CEO of WinSport, Barry Heck, said the entire project including the day lodge, the parking facilities, and repurposing of other buildings will cost between $39 and $43 million.
In August, the federal government also kicked in $17 million and change for the project.
“We have secured $35 million, so the project is a go. Other potential sources of funding we continue to work on. As those are secured, the project will unfold as funding becomes available, but suffice it to say that based on today’s funding that we’ve got, the project will go ahead and we are moving full speed ahead,” said Heck.
Heck said the investment is critical from an economic development and tourism perspective.
He said WinSport alone, from the operations at Canada Olympic Park, generates in excess of $120 million of positive economic contribution to the City of Calgary. This project will add approximately 1,200 full time jobs.
“This revitalization project is critical to ensure WinSport can meet the needs of the community for future generations,” said Heck.
“With the addition of modern energy efficiency and key accessibility elements, we can continue to support beginner to high performance athletes and provide safe and inclusive sport opportunities for all ages and abilities.”