Utah will be the new home of the United States Ski Association when the governing body for amateur skiing joins the U.S. Ski Team in Park City, Gov. Norm Bangerter announced Saturday.
The association is expected to move to Park City during the summer from its current headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo. The association recently merged its business operations with those of the ski team.The state has committed $150,000 toward the move, the governor said, calling it an economic boost that could improve Utah's chances of hosting a future Winter Olympics.
"This will help build momentum and reputation with the Olympic Committee," Bangerter said during an afternoon press conference. "It's a step in the right direction to bringing the Olympics to Utah."
Nick Badami, chairman of the board of the Park City Ski Area, said the move makes Utah the center of the sport of skiing and said the association will bring dozens of conferences to the state annually.
Badami said the effort to bring the association to Utah came after the decision by the association and the ski team to combine their business operations.
The ski team, which is a subsidiary of the association, had chosen to set up its own business operations a few years ago.
When the two organizations merged their business operations again, Badami, a member of the association's board, said a decision had to be made whether to move the ski team to Colorado or the association to Utah.
He credited a financial package worth at least $450,000 with luring the association to Utah. Besides the state share, which will likely come from the Economic Development Division budget, money came from Park City, Summit County, local businesses and the Park City Ski Area, Badami said.
The money, which will be doled out over three years, will help pay for rent in the Park Meadows Plaza where the ski team has its current headquarters and for a telephone link to the association's computer in Colorado Springs.
The investment is expected to be recouped through money generated by the many conferences held annually by the association, Badami said. Some jobs may also be available at the offices of the association, since not all of the organization's 26 full-time employees are expected to relocate.
In a press release, the governor said the move will add more than $8 million annually to the state's economy through the purchase of goods and services.