PARK CITY, Utah –– Park City and Summit County leaders held a key meeting Tuesday discussing the potential of hosting the 2030 or 2034 Winter Olympics in the region.
The idea is progressing at full speed, the application to the International Olympic Committee will hopefully be completed in the next few months.
But Tuesday’s meeting was about more than just updating on progress, it was about meeting with area leaders to discuss issues, concerns and hopes for more Winter Games.
In 2002, the landscape of Park City and Summit County changed altogether, transforming that part of the state into an international tourist destination. But now, with some tourist fatigue in the area and other infrastructure-related issues, the demands of gaming in 2030 would be vastly different.
“Our elevator pitch is a little bit different,” Summit County Councilor Malena Steven said Tuesday, adding, “Our needs have changed and shifted, and for our community, as for the rest of you, that’s transportation.” and affordable housing, sustainability.”
So these Olympics were much more about cementing Utah’s legacy as a winter sports hub than creating a destination for the international community.
“Seventy-five members of Team USA also call you home and this is such a celebration of success and inspiration to our community,” said Fraser Bullock, president of the current offering.
The final Games left $76 million that will help continue to support and implement training programs for Olympians in the community; but a new game would leave $300 million to permanently cement that legacy.
The meeting went beyond the allotted time and the conversation lasted over two hours.
For now, a return to the Utah Olympics is a strong possibility, although other venues have expressed interest. Kiev, Barcelona, Sapporo and Vancouver are said to be intrigued, but Salt Lake City is the only potential host that has a pending bid that is nearing completion.
Updating last week’s events, with several people having their first meeting with the IOC and discussing timelines for submitting an official bid for Salt Lake City, Bullock added that Gov. Spencer Cox is “a rock star.”
There are still challenges for a local bid as the 2028 Summer Olympics will be held nearby in Los Angeles, which could conflict with back-to-back games in the United States. However, Bullock assures that they are aware of the problem and are addressing it.
As the final part of creating an offering, it’s the input and ideas from the community that push it over the edge.
“We are in the process of putting our offering together full-time, but we are working with communities to understand how our offering needs to reflect their needs,” Bullock said. “This first step was very important to us.”