Park City seen as critical to any Winter Olympic bid in Utah

Posted by Delia Reece on Monday, October 23rd, 2017 at 2:59pm.

As written by Jay Hamburger in The Park Record, October 17th, 2017. 

The Park City area is crucial to any Olympic bid. Approximately half of the events in 2002 were staged locally as athletes competed at Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort and the Utah Olympic Park. Main Street was turned into a pedestrian-only celebration zone. Another major venue was located at Soldier Hollow in nearby Wasatch County. Few details were announced on Monday, but it seems almost certain government, tourism and resort-industry figures from the Park City area will be heavily involved in the discussions.

The Utah Sports Commission indicated an exploratory committee, announced on Monday, will include elected officials, businesspeople and leaders in the community. The announcement was made three days after the United States Olympic Committee said it wants to seek a Winter Olympics in 2026 or the Winter Games four years later. The International Olympic Committee is scheduled to award the 2026 event in 2019.

The U.S. Olympic Committee position was important since potential American Winter Olympic bid cities have been waiting for the national committee to signal it would begin the bidding process for a Winter Games. Los Angeles was recently awarded the Summer Olympics in 2028, turning the attention to a Winter Games. The announcement in Utah also was made as voters in Austria opted against an Innsbruck bid for the Olympics in 2026. The Austrian city hosted the Winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976.

The full exploratory committee roster was not announced. Details are expected to be made public at an event scheduled on Thursday. The co-chairs are Wayne Niederhauser, who is the president of the Utah Senate, Jeff Robbins, who is the president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission, and Fraser Bullock, a businessman who was the chief operating officer of the organizing committee that put on the Winter Olympics in 2002.

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