Utah Olympic backers will go to the Legislature when it convenes Jan. 9 to ask for a resolution in support of bringing the 1998 Winter Olympics to Salt Lake City.
The resolution is part of an effort to fill an emerging information gap, some officials said at a Thursday meeting of the executive committee of the Salt Lake Winter Games Organizing Committee."The winds of rumor are blowing," said attorney and executive committee member Pat Shea, adding that misinformation about the city's Olympic effort could start eroding support for the games.
Committee Chairman Tom Welch was more circumspect about what Shea called an"information vacuum."
"I feel comfortable with the prog-ress this committee has made" in disseminating information, Welch said. "But we have to make it (disseminating information) a priority. It's not a crisis, but it must be a priority."
To that end, the committee not only will seek a resolution from the Legislature but also draft a "fact sheet" to circulate among the public, said Dave Jordan, a communications subcommittee member and attorney.
The communications subcommittee, Jordan said, hopes to send three messages to the public: that the games will be an economic boon to Utah, that the Olympics will not detrimentally affect the environment and that Utah's image will be enhanced by the games.
Additionally, Shea will be organizing a speakers bureau, composed of members of the local Olympic committee, to travel the luncheon circuit and speak on the advantages of bringing the games to Utah.
One important message the committee will attempt to bring to the people is the potential need for a $70 million public investment to build facilities for the games if they are to bring an economic benefit to the state.
Brad Barber, state director of economic and demographic analysis, estimated the games could inject $700 million to $900 million into the Utah economy and $27 million to $38 million in tax revenue could be generated during the three-week-long Olympics.
"Tax revenue generated is a net gain to the taxpayers," Barber said.
The Winter Games Committee is preparing a bid to present to the U.S. Olympic Committee in June. If the committee chooses Salt Lake City to be the U.S. bidder, the city must take their bid to the International Olympic Committee in 1991 for a final selection.