Kim Powell | Editor-in-Chief | 4-1-2012
Bemidji, MN has been named the event host of the 2014 Winter Olympics, according to the City of Bemidji.
Thanks to the addition of the Sanford Center, located on the south side of Lake Bemidji, the city of Bemidji is a perfect location for events such as hockey, curling, and figure skating.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome people from all over the world to our humble home of Bemidji,” said Bemidji’s City Manager, John Chattin.
The Sanford Center will host men’s and women’s hockey as well as figure skating, and the Bemidji Curling Club will host all of the curling events. Buena Vista Ski Resort will be hosting all ski and snowboard events but plans to make their jumps and runs a lot bigger between now and 2014.
“The only thing we’re really worried about is where to keep all of these people,” said Chattin.
While there are several hotels in the Bemidji area, there still will not be enough room to host the anticipated crowd of the Olympics. There are plans being arranged to build at least two more hotels next to the Sanford Center, but that will likely still not be enough. There is talk of moving some guests into empty dorm rooms at BSU, but the plan is not finalized yet.
“I think the best idea might be to rent out ice houses on the lake,” said Bemidji mayor, Dave Larson.
Larson and Chattin also plan to bring in more restaurants to Bemidji before the Olympic games.
“Our goal is to be as hospitable as possible,” said Larson.
Another problem Bemidji needs to tend to is parking. While the BSU campus is notorious for its horrible parking situation, the Sanford Center has a parking lot about the size of the BSU campus as a whole. It still won’t be enough, however.
“They can always park on the frozen lake,” said Larson. “We’d really like to see to a parking ramp, though.”
According to BSU president, Dr. Richard Hanson, classes will not be in session during the Olympic games.
“Happy April Fools Day,” said Dr. Hanson.