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Utah Rentals Look Sweet For Olympics

February 5, 2001

MIDWAY, Utah (AP) _ For $30, spectators at the Winter Games can sleep in a yurt at the base of the Jordanelle Dam.

That’s the low end of the Olympic rental market in Heber Valley, where biathlon and cross country events will be held at Soldier Hollow.

The high end is still the subject of speculation, and some homeowners hope to make a killing.

The owners of one seven-bedroom house in Midway want $2,080 a night.

However, Bob Mathis, Olympic coordinator for Wasatch County, said expectations are that well-kept, well-furnished homes will command $200 a bedroom per night.

Some landlords might be too optimistic, said Carolyn Hogwood, a lodging broker who has signed a handful of contracts between owners and guests.

Hogwood’s best guess at a reasonable Olympic rate is $100 per person per night for a double occupancy.

Hogwood said her estimate was based in part on rental markets from the Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, and Nagano, Japan.

Chay Peterson, owner of Heber Valley RV Park Resort north of Heber City, said she will more than triple her rates at the 70-site park during the 2002 Games.

The usual winter price for parking a rig at Peterson’s park is $19.95 a night. During the games it will be $70, which was not welcome news to some regulars.

``I’ll go park by the side of the road,″ Pat Tiffany said.

Peterson said her rates reflect market realities.

She said an expansion she plans this summer will create a 20-unit ``yurt village perfectly suited to the budget spectator.″

Each 198-square-foot yurt will sleep four, she said, and contain a private toilet. Showers are a two-minute walk across the main campground.

The Salt Lake Organizing Committee has reserved about half the commercial properties around the valley for athletes, media and dignitaries.

In Wasatch County, where SLOC has 750 rooms or apartments under contract, most of its rentals will house athletes and coaches.

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