Even with the promise of much more money than expected from the 2002 Winter Games, the organization that runs two of Utah's Olympic venues is keeping a close eye on the bottom line.
Thursday, members of the Utah Athletic Foundation hired an investment firm to manage the $40 million endowment left by the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Utah Olympic Park near Park City and the speedskating oval in Kearns.
Goldman Sachs was selected over Wells Fargo and Zions Bank, which both have local ties. Details of the proposals, heard during a closed-door session of the foundation board, were not made public.
The foundation is counting on earning enough money from investing the endowment to balance the books. Already, the foundation faces a shortfall of more than $1.4 million in the current budget year that began on May 1.
SLOC announced earlier this year that the foundation can expect to receive another $30 million from the surplus left by the Games. But the additional revenue, coming from Olympic sponsors and others who still owe SLOC money, won't be collected until next year.
There is some pressure on the foundation to take on another Olympic venue, the cross-country and biathlon course at Soldier Hollow, located in Wasatch Mountain State Park near Midway.
Howard Peterson, executive director of the Soldier Hollow Legacy Foundation, told members of the foundation board Thursday that the state-owned facilities still need $800,000 to meet their "dream budget" of $1.3 million.Comment on this story
Although foundation officials are continuing to discuss the issue with their counterparts at Soldier Hollow, they said Thursday they have nothing to offer until the additional Games revenues come in next year. "We're not going to be much help," foundation chairman Randy Dryer told Peterson. "Best of luck to you."
Also Thursday, the foundation decided not to hire another chief executive officer. Cathy Priestner Allinger, who served as sport director for the Games, resigned as CEO to take a job as vice president of the organizing committee for the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, Italy. Foundation president Mark Lewis will take on many of her duties. The foundation board voted to boost his salary and to create a new position to deal with community relations and the press. Dryer said even with the additional expenses, the foundation will save $60,000.
The foundation also has a vacancy on its board after Frank Joklik resigned. Joklik, a local businessman, stepped down as the president of SLOC in 1999, at the height of the scandal surrounding Salt Lake's Olympic bid.