Lipno area bets on Olympic Sports Park to draw tourists

Visualisation: archive of Czech Olympic Committee

The plan for an Olympic sports park at the Lipno Reservoir has been officially approved. On Monday, it was signed by the governor of South Bohemia, Jiří Zimola, and the head of the Czech Olympic Committee, Jiří Kejval.

Visualisation: archive of Czech Olympic Committee
The biggest Czech dam Lipno, located just outside Šumava National Park close to the borders with Austria and Germany, is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations.

The Olympic centre, which is to be built in the town of Lipno nad Vltavou and the surrounding area, will be opened during the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro from 5 to 21 August.

The park will feature a number of sports attractions as well as live broadcasts from the Olympic Games. The marketing director of the Czech Olympic Committee, Marek Tesař, estimates its cost at 65 million crowns (over two million euros).

A similar park was established at the Letná Park in the centre of Prague during the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 and it was visited by some 40,000 people. According to the organizers’ estimates, the Olympic park at Lipno could be visited by some 250,000 to 300,000 people.

Apart from Lipno nad Vltavou, smaller centres will also be established in other municipalities in the area, such as Frymburk and Přední Výtoň.

According to Mr Tesař, most of the municipalities already have sports centres, so the funds will be mostly used for their improvement. However, a new water sports centre is planned to be built in the village of Loučovice.

“It is a huge opportunity not only for the Lipno area, but for the whole region of South Bohemia,” the mayor Loučovice, Jan Kubík, told the Czech News Agency.

“We have been known as an industrial area and after the collapse of the local paper mill, we were looking for new opportunities. We believe that tourism is our only option,” he said. Apart from the Lipno area, Olympic sports parks should also be established in other parts of the Czech Republic. So far, the project has been joined by the cities of Ostrava, Pardubice and Pilsen.