How many bad beats can the state of Colorado take at the hands of Utah? First Park City vanquished Breckenridge by obliterating their shot ski world record, and now Salt Lake City beat out Denver to win the bid for the 2030 Winter Olympic Games on behalf of the United States. Reno-Tahoe had also been in the running before voluntarily dropping out. The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) made the decision on December 14, and now it’s up to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to decide if Utah will get to host its second Olympic Games.
Part of the appeal in choosing Salt Lake comes in the practicality of reusing many of the existing venues from the 2002 Games. As such, the $1.4 billion cost for the event can be raised through sponsorships, ticket sales and broadcast rights, rather than through state and local taxes. Even Denver’s bid proposed taking advantage Utah’s existing Olympic infrastructure by reusing Park City’s bobsled, luge and skeleton track and the Olympic Skating Oval in Kearns to supplement their own local venues.
Despite public apprehension about about congestion, security and funding, nearly 90 percent of Utahns supported bringing the Olympics back to Salt Lake City according to a poll conducted by the state’s Olympic Exploratory Committee this fall. With overwhelming public support, legislative leaders including Governor Herbert and Salt Lake City Mayor Biskupski leapt at the chance to put Utah back in the worldwide spotlight and unanimously backed the bid.
A final decision on the games won’t come until 2023, so at this point it’s hurry up and wait. Other venues still in the mix include Sapporo, Japan and Almaty, Kazakhstan (which we hear is lovely this time of year), but here’s hoping Salt Lake City’s successful Olympic history will push it to the top of the list.