The impact on Utah's economy will be felt long before and long after the Winter Olympics if Salt Lake City hosts the event, according to Stanley B. Parrish, Utah Department of Community and Economic Development executive director.
He said Utah has received plenty of attention by becoming the U.S. Olympic Committee's choice to host the 1998 Winter Games and that attention will carry over after the Games are held because amateur sports organizations will come to the area for training and competitive events.Before Calgary, Canada, hosted the 1988 Winter Olympic Games, not many people knew about the area, but once attention was focused on the city, most everyone in the world knew about the city, Parrish said. The same is true of Salt Lake City, he predicted.
Speaking to members of the Pioneer Partnership in the Alta Club, Parrish said excellent facilities already are in place and the others that will be built will add considerably to the area's attractiveness. Amateur sports is a $2 billion business, he said, and there are 715 major sports organizations in the world. If just a few come to Salt Lake City, there will be a major economic impact on the state, Parrish said.
The economic impact on the state is important enough, Parrish said, but hosting the Games also will have a positive impact on Utah children who can grow up knowing that Olympic-quality facilities are available for training.