Utah's bid for the 1998 Olympic Winter Games has given a boost to the state's tourism business, and for that reason the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau awarded its 1991 Tourism Achievement Award to the bid effort's leaders.

Gov. Norm Bangerter, Salt Lake Mayor Palmer DePaulis and Olympic Bid Committee president Tom Welch were honored Wednesday night at the convention bureau's annual meeting, held at the Salt Palace.Bangerter, recognizing the network of people who have contributed to Utah's Olympic hopes, said he accepted the award on behalf of the community.

DePaulis noted that it was especially significant that Utahns are working to promote the peaceful Olympic ideal during a time of global crisis.

"I think we all have high hopes that we will win the (bid for the) Games," he said. "But whether we win or not, we are an Olympic state and an Olympic city."

The city's hopes for the games ride on a decision due in June. "I'm not going to tell you we're going to win (the bid). But I will tell you we're going to have a heck of a party on June 15," said Welch, who characterized the Utah and Salt Lake as "an Olympic Mecca."

The bid committee has kept Utah in the spotlight, which in turn has helped the convention and tourism bureau to increase the number of ski groups and conventions coming to Utah, said bureau president Richard E. Davis.

Nineteen more Utahns received Ambassador Awards for their roles in bringing major conventions to the state. These awards went to Osamu Hoshino, America Japan Week; Ruth Brasher, American Home Economics Association; Dr. Graham Lister, American Society for Surgery of the Hand; Dr. Frank Thomas and Tim Hynes, Association of Air Medical Services; the Rev. France Davis, Gospel Music Workshop; Ken Hackmeister, Glen Lu and Mike Peterson, International Softball Congress; Shaunna O'Neil and Susan Raymond, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging; Salt Lake County Commissioner Mike Stewart, National Association of Counties; Logan Bagley, National Association of Credit Management; Steve Cottrell, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics; Ambassador David M. Kennedy, USA-ROC Economic Council; Rainer Dahl, Utah Sports Foundation; Irene Wildman, Nancy Pecharich and Melva Sine, Women's International Bowling Congress.

The bureau presented each of the Ambassador Award winners with a navy blazer sporting the ambassador emblem, and presented the Olympic Bid Committee with a check for $19,980, bringing the total bureau contribution to the bid effort to just under $50,000.