Utah forms Olympic exploratory committee, Park City will be represented
October 16, 2017
A committee that will consider whether Utah will seek a Winter Olympics was formed on Monday, a move that is seen as critical as the supporters of another Games prepare to make the important decision of whether to mount a formal bid for an Olympics as early as the 2026 event.
The Utah Sports Commission released limited information, saying the exploratory committee will include elected officials, businesspeople and leaders in the community. The announcement was made three days after the United States Olympic Committee indicated it wants to seek a Winter Olympics in 2026 or the Winter Games four years later. The U.S. Olympic Committee announcement was crucial 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 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.
Andy Beerman, a Park City Councilor who has been involved in previous discussions about the state bidding for a second Olympics, said he anticipates Park City, as a community, will have a "key role" in the exploratory committee. He said City Hall will be represented, but he did not immediately have details.
"We are a critical part of any Utah Olympic Games . . . It would be really hard for them to host the Games without us," Beerman said.
He said a community conversation will be needed about Park City's role in an Olympic bid. Beerman said the Olympics in 2002 were "tremendous" and brought many benefits like upgrades to infrastructure and the legacy of children who grew up in Park City in the Games era becoming Olympians themselves.
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The Park City area hosted approximately half of the events during the Games in 2002. Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort and the Utah Olympic Park were busy competition venues. Main Street was one of the Olympic region's popular celebration zones.