A site-selection subcommittee of the U.S. Olympic Committee will be in Utah this week to examine the sites where events of the 1998 Winter Olympics would be held if Salt Lake City gets the bid.
Michael Zuhl, chief of staff to Mayor Palmer DePaulis, said the visit is important because subcommittee members will make a recommendation to the executive committee of the USOC between now and June 4, when the final decision is made.Zuhl provided an Olympic update Tuesday for members of the board of governors of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and said the site-selection subcommittee is visiting all five of the cities competing for the bid.
The group will visit Snow Basin, Ogden, the University of Utah, Mountain Dell Golf Course, Park City and Summit County where facilities exist or would be constructed if Salt Lake City receives the bid from the International Olympic Committee.
Zuhl said Denver and Anchorage, Alaska, appear to be Salt Lake's major competition. He said that since the city made its last bid in 1985, many meetings and sporting events have been held in the area to acquaint people with what the city has to offer and many of those visitors have votes toward the final selection, he said.
Asked if there was any organized opposition to staging the 1998 Winter Olympics in Utah, Zuhl said most of the environmental concerns have been overcome by agreeing not to hold any events in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons. He said the organizing committee also promised to repay any public money spent on the event out of profits.
The board also received an update by Dr. George Veasy, physician in chief, and Dr. Michael Simmons, chairman of the pediatrics department of the University of Utah Medical School, on completion of the new Primary Children's Medical Center.
Simmons said the hospital is being moved from the upper Avenues area to the university where doctors can work in close proximity to the medical school for research and providing the best possible care for the children.