Updated: September 2, 2014 at 10:07 am
In an effort to avoid cutting funding for its athletes, the U.S. Olympic Training Center will charge for tours of its Colorado Springs facility starting Monday.
The price for tours is $5 per adult with children under age 10 free. Senior, group and military discounts are available.
The move is to help cover the rising costs of the tours, including paying the guides, who escorted 15,000 to 20,000 visitors this June, July and August. The center has about 130,000 visitors annually, mostly out-of-town tourists.
The money raised will also go toward maintaining the visitors center.
How much will be raised is unknown and depends on public response.
"As a privately funded nonprofit with a mission of sustained competitive excellence, we're constantly looking for ways to ensure that the resources we generate are used to support the training of America's elite athletes," said Mark Jones, the U.S. Olympic Committee's senior communications director. "Recently completed renovations at the OTC in Colorado Springs have improved the guest experience, and by charging a nominal fee we're hoping we can support an ever-increasing numbers of guests and cover the operating costs associated with the visitor center without having to divert any resources from our amazing athletes."
Admission to the visitors center, where there are two Team USA stores and some displays, remains free.
Tours start hourly from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday Aug. 15 to May 31.
Summer hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday June 1-Aug. 15.