Independent from Long Beach, California on January 31, 1960 · Page 67
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Independent from Long Beach, California · Page 67

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Long Beach, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 31, 1960
Page:
Page 67
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After the Olympics-A $20 Million Playground By George S. Wells '·DEVOTEES of winter sports, particularly those ^^ of California and the Far West, are holding a 20-million-dollar post-Christmas gift on which the tag reads: "Do Not Open Until Feb. 29." That's the day after the VIII Olympic Winter Games conclude in the High Sierra and the giant Olympic layout in Squaw Valley becomes a California park and a public playground. That's the day after the VHIth Olympic Winter Games conclude at California's Squaw Valley high in the Sierra and the prized skiing and skating plant becomes the property of the state. Squaw Valley, just west of the California- Nevaxia state line in Northern California, has been converted into one of the most completely equipped centers of its kind in the world, located close to the spot where more snow falls than anywhere else in the nation, excepting Alaska. Under terms of the" agreement made when the site was chosen by the I n t e r n a t i o n a l Olympic Committee 4'/ 2 years ago, the property will become a state park; its sports facilities and lodgings to be operated by private concessionaires. The cost of playing host to the winter games Feb. 18-28 will set back U. S., state and private agencies something more than $20,000,000 to put across the project successfully. Labor and construction costs have risen since California first played host to the summer Olympics in I.os Angeles in 1932 at the height of the depression. COSTS HAVE BEEN relegated to second place in importance, however. For when the expected daily crowds of 35,000 gather at Squaw Valley, paying $7.50 for a day's viewing of the world's greatest winter sports events, they will be paying tribute to the idealistic standards of the Olympic credo. I. Within the framework of this inspired idealism, _some 800 athletes--skiers, skaters, ski jumpers-will gather from more than 30 nations. Squaw Valley--6,200-foot high -valley a scant five miles from Lake Tahoe--measures two miles long by Vz mile wide, and nestles amongst Sierra peaks towering 9,000 feet. This region was an almost unmarked wilderness with only a few houses, a lodge and a ski lift when the International Olympic Committee chose it in 1955. But it possessed the ideal winter sports location--a perfect terrain wherein all the Olympic Winter Games events could be staged in a compact area, convenient both to athletes and spectators. Furthermore, Squaw Valley had a history of ample, reliable snowfall, flawless winter weather, and offered the first opportunity to build an Olympic Winter "city" tailored to the needs of the Games. THE TALENTS of business and civic leaders were impressed to make Squaw Valley a world showplace. The U. S. Olympic Committtee formed the Organizing Committee, headed by Prentis C. Hale, San Francisco department store executive, while the Stale of California named an Olympic Commission, now headed by Harold Berliner, also a member of the Organizing Committee. The Commission safeguards the State's interests, while the Organizing Committee supervises all games arrangements, construction, and staging of the games. The money for the gigantic project comes from many sources: California State Park Funds, $7,990,000 (1,000 acres of Squaw Valley will become an $11,000,000 state park after the Olympics); congressional appropriation of Federal funds, $4,300,000; use of inactive military equipment, $2,000,000; Nevada State appropriations, $363,000, and private corporate donations of cash, equipment, goods and services,.$2,000,000. The balance of the $20,000,000 estimated as the cost of the Games, is expected to be raised by the box office receipts. Specially designed and built for the Games are a roofed, 8,500-seat arena containing an 85x190- foot ice rink; an athletes' reception center, with (Continued on Page 20) Scene to be repeated many times in coming Olympic Winter Games h this of competitor in full flight at Squaw Valloy ski jump hill. Heart of Squaw Valley's Olympic City is the Olympic ice arena flanked by unique, glass-walled spectator centers and hockey rink (left) and figure skating practice rink. Speed skating oval may see marks fall. Side view of athletes' reception center and one of four athletes' dormitories in background are shown here. These buildings and others in the Squaw Valley setup will become state park properties after the Games. i t \' t'f t I »"t I » i t ' ! f f **V * «.-».* ··'»'*· XV J -V

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