Red Deer is one of two communities looking to lure the Canada Winter games to their doorstep and there is plenty of work to do in order to call this mission accomplished.
Dec. 20th was the deadline to submit a letter of intent to host the 2019 games and our City, along with Lethbridge are now going to compete head to head.
The next step in the bid process is a technical phase where each bid committee needs to submit an outline of what each has to offer to the 1,800 athletes who will be at the Games each of the two weeks they run.
“It will have all the technical information about all the sporting venues that we’re thinking of having, about the athletes village, where that’s going to be,” said Red Deer Bid Committee Chair Lyn Radford. “What the food capabilities are and where we’re going to do all that.”
The deadline for that submission is Jan. 20th and then each city will enter into the bid evaluation phase and will have until May 30th to submit their final bid to the games evaluation committee.
A part of the process will include information about the nearest airports to each city, what can land there, what transportation there will be on hand to handle the athletes and the officials, said Radford.
“If we move beyond that phase then the discussions get a little deeper with talk around budgets,” she said.
The number which is in the front of Red Deer’s bid is $22 million which is directed in part to upgrading facilities like River Bend Recreation Area for cross country skiing, possibly something out at Canyon Ski Resort and there has been talk of putting something towards helping Red Deer College with the school’s proposed multiplex.
But it goes beyond the bricks and mortar of buildings, said Radford.
“We’re going to talk about what kind of experiences can you give both the athletes and the attendees to these games as well as your community.”
Radford said the legacy which is left behind from an event like this is tremendous and worth all the hard work being put into this effort.
“I mean right from the physical legacy of new facilities being developed to developing new leadership. But also developing programs that can help our athletes right here,” she said.
It will take strength of the solid volunteer base in Red Deer to do this and Radford is confident the support is there within the community.
“As each layer gets peeled away we’ll involve more and more people and so when June comes we want the whole City involved.”