Games committee says venue talks underway with PCMR, Deer Valley, Olympic Park

Agreements sought with competition locations, but a timeline for the work is not set

The Utah Olympic Park was an important competition venue during the 2002 Winter Olympics, shown. The park would have a major role in a future Games as well. The committee seeking a second Winter Olympics in the state has launched talks with potential venues.
Park Record file photo

The group seeking a second Winter Olympics in the state has started discussions with the various locations where competitions are expected to be staged should a Games be awarded to Salt Lake City, an early step in the efforts to craft a map of the Olympic theater that would stretch from the Salt Lake Valley to the Park City area and points beyond.

The president and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, Fraser Bullock, briefly addressed the topic during a Monday update about the talks with the International Olympic Committee. He did not provide details about the work involving the competition locations, but Bullock’s comments were noteworthy nonetheless with the venue map being such a critical aspect of the plans.

Bullock said the committee is working on documents known as venue-use agreements. The documents will be negotiated between the committee and the leadership of the various venues. They will essentially outline roles and responsibilities of the committee and the venues. They will also address which events could potentially be staged at the individual locations.

Three locations in the Park City area were earlier identified as venues — Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort and the Utah Olympic Park. Each of the three was also a competition venue in the 2002 Winter Olympics. Another competition site from the Games of 2002 that is identified as a venue in the plans for a second Games, Soldier Hollow in Wasatch County, would also be covered by an agreement.

“We’re actually in the phase of working through venue-use agreements now. And so we’ve been out talking to our venue partners from 2002, and that’s where we started,” Bullock said on Monday.

The concept map for a second Olympics identifies PCMR as the location of snowboarding and freestyle skiing competitions, Deer Valley as the venue for ski racing and freestyle skiing events and the Utah Olympic Park as the locale of bobsled, luge, skeleton, ski jumping and the ski jumping portion of Nordic combined.

Bullock said the competitions in a second Games could be staged in existing venues even though there are now 40% more events than there were in 2002. He said the committee is “very confident in terms of our direction.”

He said the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games did not provide details of the discussions with the venues to the International Olympic Committee during the talks on Monday, which were held virtually. Bullock said the officials from the Lausanne, Switzerland-based organization instead were interested in broader topics.

“That is to be shared later on. What they’re focused more on at this point is helping us in the journey, partnering … with us in the journey to saying ‘Focus on your vision,’ ‘What are you trying to accomplish?’ ‘Why are you hosting these Games?’ And we spent a lot of time on that.”

He added: “But also being able to interact with them and discuss with them these various concepts and ideas is really the phase that we’re in right now, which is a great phase.”

A spokesperson for the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games later said a timeline is not set for finalizing agreements with the venues. The spokesperson, Tom Kelly, said the organization wanted to begin the talks with the venues early in the process to be “ahead of the game.” He said the committee has held discussions with each of the locations that were competition venues in 2002.

The United States Olympic Committee in late 2018 selected Salt Lake City to be the nation’s bid city for a future Winter Olympics with the event in 2030 or 2034 the target. The Park City area is crucial to the overall bid with the three major competition venues at PCMR, Deer Valley and the Utah Olympic Park. The community would also be seen as one of the primary places for Olympic celebrations, as was the case in 2002.

It is not clear when the International Olympic Committee will select a host for the Games of 2030, but it is anticipated the organization will turn to that task after the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing close.

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