Park City poised to earmark first monies for the Winter Olympic efforts

The $25,000 would be a tiny sum but signify the possibility of movement on bid

Park City has a key role in the bid to host a second Winter Olympics in the state. City Hall staffers are seeking $25,000 in the municipal budget for the efforts. The earmark would be the first by the municipal government related to the bid.

Park City officials are seeking $25,000 in the municipal budget to be earmarked for the efforts to host a second Winter Olympics in the state, the first such Games-related request by staffers and another indication leaders are readying for the possibility of movement on the bid in the next 12 months.

The request is a minimal sum in relation to the overall budget, but it is noteworthy at a time when Salt Lake City and the wider region continue to mold a bid for a Games, possibly those of 2030 or 2034. The request is labeled “Olympic Project Management” and is sought by municipal events staffers.

Mayor Nann Worel and the Park City Council are amid the annual budget talks as they craft a spending plan for the 12-month period between July of 2023 and June of 2024. The City Council next month is expected to approve the budget.

City Hall to date has funded the Olympic-related work through departmental budgets. The workload has included preparing reports and attending meetings. 

In a prepared statement in response to a Park Record inquiry about the budget request, City Hall said “we do expect it to ramp up” about the Olympic-related work. The statement said the requested earmark is designed as a “placeholder” and it is “undetermined” what the funds could be put toward.

The Park City area is crucial to the Olympic bidding. Park City Mountain, Deer Valley Resort and the Utah Olympic Park are identified as important competition venues, while the transportation, security and celebration planning would heavily involve Park City and surrounding Summit County.

It is not clear when the International Olympic Committee will select the hosts for 2030 and 2034. Salt Lake City is seen as a top contender for one of the years. The IOC traditionally named hosts seven years prior to a Games, meaning under a former selection process the Games of 2030 would have been awarded this year. Although that may not be the case in this IOC process, it is expected the work at City Hall regarding the Games will likely continue at some level through the 12 months covered in the budget that is currently under consideration.

Park City leaders spent time and financial resources in the last year on the Olympic efforts, including partnering with the County Courthouse to host a series of formal events dubbed community conversations about a second Games, but it is difficult to predict a precise Olympic-related workload for the next 12 months. Games-related issues have seemed to percolate through a range of discussions over the last several years.

The work will likely depend on any movement by the IOC, most notably whether a Games is awarded sometime during the upcoming City Hall fiscal year. If Salt Lake City is awarded a Games, the municipal government would be expected to move into a planning phase that would eventually involve earmarks in City Hall budgets through the year of an Olympics.

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