The Olympics and Beyond


Unfinished velodrome with mountain in background

As a host of the 1996 Olympic tennis, achery, and cycling competitions, Stone Mountain Park has placed itself in the international spotlight. The exposure that the park receives from the Games draws tourists from a previously-untapped tourist pool.

The Park's involvement with the Games began under its late director, Larry Allen. In addition to heading up Park operations, Allen also worked with the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG). Allen sought to bring some events to the Park from the earliest mention of Olympic prospects for Atlanta. Initially, ACOG wanted the Park to host at least five events, but Park officials working with planners came to the conclusion that the Park could not sustain that many visitors in the Summer of 1996. The Committee and Park eventually agreed on the above mentioned events and accompanying venues.

The development of Olympic venues in the Park is yet another step down the road of commoditization. The exposure that will result for the Park will come from the Games and other events that have no direct relation to the carving. The Park's hosting of Olympic events is yet another example of its move away from the single-mindedness of the original Memorial concept to the multi-faceted and diversified Park of the present.

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