Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Simple Plea: Bring The Winter Olympics to Southern California

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HEAPS PEAK IN THE SAN BERNARDINO MOUNTAINS - The Sochi Olympics have wrapped up, bringing to end the somewhat contentious XXII Olympic Winter Games. Among the many real or perceived problems, there was one real problem, which is the Sochi games were just a little too warm for the Winter Olympics. The climate in the Sochi area is typically rather mild and Russian officials stored significant amounts of snow for the games, just in case. Nonetheless, despite social issues outside the gates and the unrest in nearby Ukraine, the Sochi games went off without any real problem, and the events themselves were an overall success.

So, if a place like Sochi can pull off a Winter Olympics then why cannot our own Southern California mountains, The San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains, host the winter games? After all, the weather in our local mountains are about the same as in Sochi, you never quite know if it is going to be a snowy year or warm year, and if it is warm our ski resorts know how to make and store quite of bit of snow. 

Where In Our Mountains?

Probably the most logical site for the home-base of the Winter Olympics would be Big Bear, but however events could be spread all over the Transverse Range. Spreading out Olympic events is nothing new. It was done in Sochi, and it was done during the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles with many Olympic games spread throughout Southern California.

Sure, there would be some infrastructure that would need to be built, but that would be a boom to the local construction industry. 

Okay. All This New Stuff Is Built, But What Happens When The Games Leave?

Some may ask what happens when the Olympics leave the mountain resorts with so much new stuff built? Well, for places in Big Bear, and perhaps other places in the San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains, they can now brag and sell their ski resorts as being world famous, and boost their ski resorts from being local destinations to world destinations. What skier would not love to play and ski at an Olympic ski resort?

What About The Mountain Roads?

What about accommodating all the Olympic spectators, and those mountain highways?

Yes, as any person who has driven our mountain highways and roads can attest, the roadways to and around the mountain towns are not the best, and can provide for a white-knuckle ride at times, but this would provide the opportunity to improve the mountain highways.

Furthermore, shuttle service can be provided to and from events, and up and down the mountain. Also, this may be an opportunity to explore other unique forms of transportation, such as a tramway from the base of the mountain to perhaps Big Bear, not unlike the Palm Springs Tram

Just Where Is Everybody Going To Stay?

In the mountain towns there would be a need to build some new hotels, but there are many hotel and motel rooms down the mountain in the Inland Empire that are underused and could be used to house Winter Olympic spectators.

Of course before, during and right after the Olympic games it will be massive boost to the hospitality industry, and not just in the mountains, but it will have a positive ripple affect throughout Southern California. It is not an unlikely scenario that hotels from Palm Springs to L.A. would be filled up with Winter Olympic spectators. 

What About Traffic Down Here?

What about traffic having a ripple affect in the flat lands? Well, we all worked together during the 1984 games, and the recent events on Interstate 405, and so why cannot it be that way again for the Winter Olympics?

Consider It and Bring It To Our Mountains!

We say to the powers that be, bring the Winter Olympics to the Southern California Mountains. We have, and could easily have, the infrastructure in place, and hosting the games here you would not have to worry about any possible social problems taking center stage at the games. The United States is a very stable place to hold the Winter Olympics, and our Southern California mountain range will make it even better.

As an added bonus to consider, though it is on a smaller scale, Big Bear has hosted the X-Games, among other such winter events.

The Winter Olympics in Southern California? Yes, this can be done.

We have already hosted two Summer Olympics, and let us make our third hosting of the games The Winter Olympics!

This can be done, and so let us do it!

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