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2030 or 2034? That is the question.

Officials said a decision to seek an Olympic Games in 2030 or 2034 could be made in the first half of 2022.

Utah’s Olympic Games leaders met Monday in Salt Lake City and shed some light on their progress toward bringing a Games back to the Beehive state. But will it be in 2030 or 2034?

The strategic and governing boards of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games met on Monday, their dozen-word titles just about as cumbersome as the logistics around bringing the games back to the Wasatch Mountains.

Officials shared more details about the budget, timing and plans for their bid than they have previously. Their report gave a sense of the scope of the undertaking: 13,000 hotel rooms are committed, regardless if the Games happen in 2030 or 2034; a $2.2 billion budget is proposed and $250 million alone is earmarked as an endowment for future winter sport investment.

One number, though, might carry more weight than the others: 18. That’s the number of months between the 2028 summer Games in Los Angeles and the winter games in 2030.

Fraser Bullock, the committee’s president and CEO, said the committee would prefer that timing to hosting the Games in 2034.

“And so we have some bias towards 2030, but can we make it work with back-to-back Games with sponsorships?” he said.

Bullock, a co-founder of the investment firm Sorenson Capital, laid out the financial picture facing the committee. There are many sources of funding for a Games, he said, starting with broadcast television revenues, international sponsors and ticketing revenue. But one category, domestic sponsorship revenue, might suffer from having two games in the United States in a matter of months.

“And that's the category where there would be an overlap with L.A. For example, Delta is a sponsor of the ’28 Games. They would be an obvious choice for a future Games here in Utah. And so there's an overlap there,” Bullock said.

Committee chair Catherine Raney Norman said the local committee’s decision about which Games to pursue could happen in the first half of 2022. That decision could have far-reaching effects for the Park City area.

Bullock said the International Olympic Committee could select the host of the 2030 Games next year; the decision for the 2034 host city could be several years away. An Olympic Games is seen as a potential cash cow for hosting areas, though not everyone favors the construction and congestion the Games bring.

In the runup to the 2002 Games, for example, federal funding helped construct the flyover ramps from U.S. 40 to Interstate 80. Bullock said the $2.2 billion Games budget, which is in 2030 dollars, does not rely on local or state taxpayer funding. But another of the “key budget principles” is federal support for security and transportation.

The budget includes $1.75 billion for operations, $200 million for contingency funding and $250 million for legacy funding. According to Colin Hilton, the president and CEO of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, about half of the legacy funding will go to enhance programming and maintain the facilities that the foundation runs at Soldier Hollow, the Kearns Olympic Oval and the Utah Olympic Park.

According to Bullock’s presentation, 89% of the public supports the idea of bringing the games to Utah, including the mayors of all the host communities.

While Park City Mayor-elect Nann Worel said she supported the concept of a Utah Olympic Games, she said she would reserve specific support until she had heard from the Park City community on the topic.

Some Parkites have questioned the idea of once again hosting a Games locally, pointing to the growth that they say followed the 2002 edition.

As for the local economy, Bullock said the committee has been working to secure agreements for lodging and event hosting.

“We have 13,000 hotel rooms under contract today, for both 2030 and for 2034,” Bullock said. “... We have agreement in principle with our competition venues and we continue to work with them on our non-competition venues such as the village and other places. We’ve rolled up our sleeves and we're deep at work and we're making lots of progress.”

Committee spokesperson Tom Kelly said 636 of those 13,000 hotel rooms are in Summit County, spread across five properties. He said the rooms would not be used by spectators but rather by Games officials.

Kelly also said the committee was discussing agreements with every 2002 venue across the region, including Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort and the Utah Olympic Park.

Alexander joined KPCW in 2021 after two years reporting on Summit County for The Park Record. While there, he won many awards for covering issues ranging from school curriculum to East Side legacy agriculture operations to land-use disputes. He arrived in Utah by way of Madison, Wisconsin, and western Massachusetts, with stints living in other areas across the country and world. When not attending a public meeting or trying to figure out what a PID is, Alexander enjoys skiing, reading and watching the Celtics.