McHENRY, Md. (AP) — With eight months left until the largest inbound international sporting event in the United States this year, physical preparations have begun for Deep Creek 2014: International Canoe Federation Canoe Slalom World Championships.
Beitzel Corp. of Grantsville is making minor modifications to the whitewater course at Adventure Sports Center International, according to Joe Schroyer, director of operations at ASCI. Waldon Studio Architects in Columbia is working on the designs for the natural amphitheater and the 800-square-foot pavilion which, once complete, will go out for bid for construction.
“We hope to begin construction late winter, early spring,” said Schroyer.
ASCI, which opened in 2007, is the world’s only mountaintop whitewater course, and was built to host Deep Creek 2014.
“It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to build that facility on the hill,” said Sen. George Edwards previously. “It’s there, and look what it’s done: it’s drawn this fantastic event to Garrett County, which is going to benefit this part of the state tremendously. This, as I see it, is maybe the first stepping stone. We can be the epicenter of adventure sports not only in Maryland and the United States, but in the world.”
The ASCI whitewater course, which is made of concrete and natural rock, is just over 1,700 feet long and drops 24 feet from the top to the bottom, according to the ASCI website. Water is pumped from the lower pond and shoots into the start pool at a speed of 5 feet per second. Variable wave shapers at six locations on the course can adjust waves and hydraulics for different experiences — ranging from Olympic caliber whitewater to a flow that is comfortable for small children and beginners.
In September, local dignitaries gathered at the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce to push the button to begin the One Year Countdown Clock for Deep Creek 2014.
“Garrett County is setting itself as an example of sports in the sports marketplace in the United States by hosting this world championship,” said Terry Hasseltine, executive director of the Maryland Office of Sports Marketing, during the countdown event. “This is a difference maker in the grand scheme of sports in the United States but we are hosting it here in Maryland.”
During a legislative meeting in December, Nicole Christian, president and CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, requested legislation that would support transportation, security and communication during Deep Creek 2014.
In April 2013, Garrett County was awarded $1 million from the state’s capital budget for upgrades to ASCI. The state bond proceeds will partially fund the $2.6 million in improvements which include design, construction, repair, renovation, reconstruction and capital equipping of ASCl. The project will also include upgrading telecommunications and building new and upgrading existing infrastructure and facilities.
Deep Creek 2014 is expected to draw 35 to 40 international teams; 1,200 coaches, athletes and support staff; 30,000 spectators; and will have a $20 million economic impact. The event is also expected to draw more than 21.5 million international broadcast television viewers around the world.
Deep Creek 2014 has partnered with Mark Stutzman, world-renowned artist, to commission a commemorative poster, according to Todd Copley, executive director of Deep Creek 2014. The town of Mountain Lake Park donated the commissioning fees for the poster on behalf of Deep Creek 2014.
The event will be held Sept. 17-21.
For more information, visit http://www.deepcreek2014.com
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)