Park City-area leaders gearing up for possible 2030 Winter Olympics decision next May |

Park City-area leaders gearing up for possible 2030 Winter Olympics decision next May

The timeline aligns with what was expected, giving officials another year to engage with residents

Utah Olympic Park.
Park Record file photo

With the possibility of the 2030 Winter Olympics being awarded next May, Park City and Summit County leaders are poised to give residents the chance to share their opinions in the coming months.

Following last week’s International Olympic Committee session in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games received updates about the future Olympic possibilities. At the meeting, officials indicated the 2030 award would come at the IOC session scheduled next May in Mumbai, India. The timeline aligns with what local leaders were anticipating, which gives them another year to engage in a dialogue with stakeholders.

“I see the deadline of having the 2030 Olympics as a benefit because whatever issues we are concerned about, we have a hard deadline. That doesn’t happen very frequently in local government, where you have a hard deadline where things have to be improved upon or take place,” said Summit County Councilor Malena Stevens. “I think that that helps with collaborative efforts and community conversations.”

In preparation for next year’s decision, local leaders plan to continue a conversation with the community about the potential challenges and opportunities that come with hosting an Olympics. Stevens and Park City Mayor Nann Worel, who both serve on the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, said they’re excited to gain different perspectives on the issue, which they agree is a dynamic one.

City and county leaders initially planned to start outreach efforts in June but are waiting until the end of summer to ensure residents who may have been traveling are present. Worel said the municipality and the county will work together with their partner, Mountain Mediation, to develop a series of surveys and questionnaires. There will also be in-person and virtual meetings as well as opportunities for the Spanish-speaking population and the workforce to voice their opinions.

Having not been a Park City resident during the 2002 Winter Olympics, Worel said she selfishly wishes she had been a part of the Games because of the legacy it left. She’s heard anecdotes, good and bad, from residents who were living in the community and looks forward to learning more. Worel plans to wait until the community input results are released before deciding if hosting another Games is a benefit.

A new report from the IOC found that Utah’s Olympic facilities are still 100% in use. Vancouver, Canada – another city seeking the Games in 2030 – was the only other place that still uses 100% of its venues. The report is the first time the IOC has completed an inventory of venue use dating back to 1896. Overall, 87% of complex venues, such as stadiums, swimming pools and ice hockey arenas, are still active.

“All of them are still in use today and offer physical exercise and healthy lifestyle activities for the local community, recreational events and camps for locals and visitors, and high-performance development programs for US and international athletes at both junior and senior level,” the report stated.

Stevens and Worel were unsure if having all facilities still in use would give Utah an advantage in the efforts to host a future Games, but they agreed it promotes sustainability and benefits the local community.

Earlier in May, Worel attended a lunch with members of the IOC technical team who came to the area for a site visit. She said there were a lot of great conversations and the importance of sustainability in the Park City area was highlighted. The team seemed interested in the concept, Worel said, as the IOC is striving for climate positive Games by 2030.

Stevens said the Park City area has “world-class facilities” that have become integrated into the local culture, which promotes the ongoing legacy component of the Olympics. Worel said she wasn’t surprised to learn that 100% of local facilities are still in use. She praised the community for keeping venues up to date and finding creative ways to keep them operational.

Another powerful message from the site visit, Worel said, is that the IOC has a clear goal of fitting the Games to a city to ensure it aligns with the community.

“I found that impressive. If the Olympics come, how will they help us achieve our goals?” Worel said.

The recent site visit was the first to occur since the IOC adopted a less intense bidding process. The new, scaled-back process focuses on constant dialogue and collaboration. The IOC team was also slated to travel to several other locations being considered for the Winter Olympics, including Canada and, possibly, Spain.

Park City and Summit County leaders are excited to hear residents’ opinions soon and said more information would be coming soon.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Park City and Summit County make the Park Record's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.