The US Olympic Committee will decide and announce their endorsement for the 2030 Winter Olympics. Salt Lake and Denver are the only two cities left for consideration. Those in favor of bringing the games back are well aware of the potential costs of the game.
Colin Hilton, Director of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation says through their exploratory committee efforts they’ve calculated the estimate cost of the games in 2018 dollars.
“Approximately $1.4 billion. That is actually lower than what we did it in 2002 in 2002 dollars. We feel we can do that because we have the infrastructure already here. Comparatively, Calgary was assessing whether they would want to spend $5.2 billion. That’s too much in my opinion. That is way too much and way too much ask of their governments. Here we are looking to do this through all private funded efforts.”
Critics asked about other pressing issues within the state such as education, air quality, homelessness and more specifically Park City’s focus on affordable housing and social equity. Park City Mayor Andy Beerman says it’s a great question.
The IOC’s looking at rebooting the games and better aligning it with community values and this is something we discussed with them, this isn’t about putting Park City on the map or Utah on the map or even about economic development. This is a celebration of our athletes, it’s a celebration of winter sport. I believe it’s a way we can move all of our critical priorities as a town forward. We don’t need to build more hotels or restaurants, we don’t need to build new interchanges for our highways to make it work this time around. We need athlete housing. We want to put on a compact sustainable games which is going to require an electric and very efficient transportation system. The Olympics are really trying to heighten the discussion about equity about diversity and inclusion. That’s something we’re trying to talk about in this community and the last one is certainly the environment. We think we can put on a net zero or even a net positive games here and showcase some of the new technologies and the new changes we’re making in town to do that. Our concern is about climate change to the world through the Olympics. I see this as a very different games. We don’t want to do 2002 over again. We want to re-invent how we’re doing this in a way that celebrates both what the Olympics want to be and who we are.”
Hilton says that while the 2002 Olympics looked to please the IOC’s requests, the 2030 Olympics would see all involved organizations working towards common goals.
“The IOC and the USOC they committed to saying we want to do these games to promote the vision of the state and local governments and local regions. How we can be a tool to help the regions hit and achieve those visions and goals those are what we want. That to me is very compelling and very motivating. To be able to say this moment in time could help try to improve air quality try to improve our public transportation systems and align the goals of the games with what the goals of the community are.”
Hilton says they expect to hear the USOC’s decision by mid-December
The IOC’s decision about the 2026 Winter Olympic host city will come in June of 2019. Hilton says that the 2030 selection could also potentially come at that time. another potential time for the announcement could be at the IOC’s 140th Session in 2023.