Bringing the 1998 Winter Olympics to Utah - and most of the activities to Salt Lake County - would also be a major economic boost to cities and counties adjacent to Salt Salt Lake City, says Provo Mayor Joe Jenkins.
Jenkins said any event such as the Winter Olympics would bring in enough activity to fill hotels in surrounding valleys.Some city and county officials have said they have been treated unfairly or left out of the Games because most venues are planned for the Salt Lake area. But Jenkins said, "the fact of the matter is that most of the events will be in Salt Lake and Summit counties because they have the most facilities.
"I think we are being treated fairly. We haven't felt left out. We just have to realize that most of the hotels and ski resorts are there (in Salt Lake City), but it will spill into all valleys."
Jenkins, a member of the Salt Lake Winter Games Organizing Committee, said the committee is attempting, however, to locate venues in areas near Salt Lake so others can benefit from game dollars.
Provo may be the site for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics because Brigham Young University's Cougar Stadium is the largest stadium in the state, he said. Other BYU facilities are attractive sites for cultural activities.
There has been talk of hosting the huge venue at Provo's Seven Peaks Resort (yet to be constructed), and possibly ice hockey in the Marriott Center or in a new facility, but Jenkins said venue decisions won't be finalized until June when state officials know for sure if Utah has captured the Winter Olympics bid.
"The games would bring in a substantial amount of dollars and an awful lot of people. The benefit is not only in the games, but the state would be known after as a place for winter sports," Jenkins said.