Park City’s Olympic future: ‘It’s finally go time’
The group readying for the possibility of Salt Lake City and the wider Winter Olympic region mounting a bid for another games is expected to submit materials to the United States Olympic Committee by Friday outlining early concepts illustrating how a future Olympics could be staged.
The Salt Lake Executive Committee for the Games will forward information that is based on a report drafted in February that detailed the region’s Olympic possibilities. The region is interested in the prospects of an Olympic bid, likely for the event in 2030.
The submittal this week will be an important step for the committee as well as the government entities and others with seats on the committee. Although the details are not finalized, the submittal provides an overall concept for another games.
The USOC intends to select a candidate city for a future Winter Olympics by the end of 2018. Salt Lake City, Denver and the Reno-Lake Tahoe region of Nevada and California are interested. Officials from the USOC are expected to visit each of the locations in November.
“It’s finally go time. It’s time for us to make the case that Utah is ready to host a future Winter Olympic games,” said Colin Hilton, a member of the Salt Lake Executive Committee for the Games and the president and CEO of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation.
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The supporters of the Salt Lake City effort say the region is better positioned to host an Olympics than the others based on the successful games of 2002 and the continued use of facilities from the earlier Olympics. The Salt Lake City boosters say a second Olympics would be more cost effective than if the event was held elsewhere. Most of the facilities, including the expensive bobsled track and ski jumps, already exist, as an example, the Salt Lake City supporters say.
“Our take on it is we are fulfilling the role of legacy like no other place,” Hilton said.
The foundation Hilton leads oversees the Utah Olympic Park in the Snyderville Basin, the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns and the Soldier Hollow Nordic Center in Wasatch County. Each of the locations was an Olympic venue in 2002.
The Park City area will play a critical role in the materials that are submitted to the United States Olympic Committee. The Park City area hosted upward of half of the events during the games in 2002 and is expected to have a similar role in the blueprints for a future Olympics.
Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort and the Utah Olympic Park are seen as important competition venues in a games map. The Utah Olympic Park would host the sliding sports and ski jumping, the same events held there in 2002. The February report provided a concept map of the venues that also called for Park City Mountain Resort to host snowboarding and freestyle skiing events and Deer Valley Resort to host freestyle skiing and alpine skiing events. The map could be modified as a final Olympic map is crafted should the region be awarded a games.
The Park City community, meanwhile, would have a key role, as it did in 2002. Much of the Olympic revelry happened in Park City with Main Street the focal point of the celebrations locally. Park City would also be critical to the Olympic transportation infrastructure as plans are devised to shuttle large crowds to and from the area each day. It would be involved in the security planning.
Hilton said Park City officials are heavily involved as the materials are drafted for the USOC. Mayor Andy Beerman is a member of the Salt Lake Executive Committee for the Games. Park City hopes a second Olympics could advance the municipal government’s priorities for the community, such as transportation, housing and energy.
“Park City’s going to be helping shape how we do this,” Hilton said, describing that the Salt Lake Executive Committee for the Games is interested in City Hall’s sustainability programs.
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Artists were creating a giant Black Lives Matter mural on the Main Street asphalt on midday Saturday, the Fourth of July, bringing the message in large letters to the popular shopping, dining and entertainment strip.