Park City and Summit County leaders are set to meet next week for a major rally centered on the prospects for hosting a second Winter Olympics in the state, a discussion that will take place just steps from the track bobsleigh and ski jumps where athletes would compete in a future Games.
This will be the first time Park City Council and Summit County Council have met jointly to discuss Olympic efforts. High-ranking officials from the Salt Lake City-Utah Games Committee seeking to stage an Olympics must address elected officials.
Both Park City and Summit County are crucial to the Olympic talks. Two major competition venues – Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort – are identified within Park City while another – Utah Olympic Park – is in unincorporated Summit County, just outside the Park City limits. The area would also be key in the overall planning for transport, security and Games celebrations.
Elected officials from each of the jurisdictions would play a key role if an Olympics were awarded to Salt Lake City as City Hall and the County Courthouse prepare for the Games. They would be heavily involved in working out the details of Olympic operations, would have to review various Games-related contractual matters, and would likely be heavily involved in public relations efforts.
Fraser Bullock, who is the president and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, and the organization’s president, Catherine Raney Norman, are scheduled to appear at Tuesday’s meeting. Colin Hilton, who is the president and CEO of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, is also to address elected officials. Hilton serves on the board of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games and was a key staff member of the committee that organized the 2002 Winter Olympics. Two consultants, one involved in communication and the other in calls for tenders for major events, must also appear alongside the committee’s personalities.
The meeting will be the first such organized discussion between a committee team and local government leaders and will be held as efforts are expected to ramp up. The International Olympic Committee will likely turn its attention to selecting a host for the 2030 Winter Olympics after the Beijing Games conclude later this month. A timeline is unclear, but the 2030 event is almost certain to be the next awarded.
“Things are getting more serious now about the potential for an offer,” Hilton said in an interview as he spoke about the timing of the meeting with Park City and Summit County officials.
Hilton said the committee’s numbers intend to provide an update on progress to date on Tuesday and discuss “collective thoughts for the future” with elected officials. The committee wants to hear more about Olympic aspirations and concerns from Park City and Summit County leaders.
It seems likely that the discussion will be general in nature rather than the start of a detailed conversation about the roles and responsibilities of the different parties. But it’s also likely that the discussion could begin to set the tone for the committee’s relationship with local governments. There were early tensions between the Organizing Committee and Park City area leaders in the years leading up to the 2002 Games that the parties want to avoid.
The meeting is scheduled as the region marks the 20th anniversary of the 2002 Olympics and encourages local athletes to compete in Beijing. A big anniversary celebration is planned for Park City on Saturday. The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, which in 2018 selected Salt Lake City as its National Candidate City for the Winter Olympics, opened a temporary location along Main Street for the Beijing Games.
Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. in the Quinney Conference Room at Utah Olympic Park. This is a public meeting and will be streamed online. More information and a link to the online broadcast can be found on City Hall’s website, parkcity.org. The direct link is: parkcity.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/38627/15.