A new report released Friday by Gov. Mike Leavitt shows state and local governments will make an estimated $236 million from the 2002 Winter Games, more than twice the amount projected by his office in a 1994 study.

That's more than enough to cover the cost of providing government services to Olympic organizers, estimated at $120 million in the current study by the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget."The 2002 Winter Games are very clearly good for Utahns and good for Utah financially," the governor told a meeting of officials from cities where Olympic events will be held.

Just how good the Games will be to Salt Lake City, West Valley City, Park City, Provo and Ogden remains to be seen. The analysis included revenue projections for each city, but no break-down of costs.

"I'm not sure it's that good," West Valley Mayor Gearld Wright said after being told his city would collect nearly $2.2 million in taxes and fees from the Games.

Like every other community along the Wasatch Front that's involved in the 2002 Winter Games, West Valley City still has to reach an agreement with the Salt Lake Organizing Committee over the cost of such services as trash collection.

Most have no idea yet what the price of providing those services will be. "All of us are really pushing to try and get something of an expectation as to what we might need and what we might get," Wright said.

The Salt Lake City Council, which stands to earn more than any other local government from the Games, has already gone on the record saying it won't pick up any of the costs.

Shelley Thomas, the vice president of communications for SLOC, said the negotiation process is just starting. Thomas labeled the governor's findings as "a huge positive economic outcome from hosting the Games."

Leavitt's report also found that the total economic impact of the Olympics will be $2.8 billion, including $972 million in wages and benefits paid to workers filling the equivalent of 23,000 new jobs.

Those numbers are also up from the 1994 study, which predicted a total economic impact of just over $1.7 billion, and earnings of $514 million from the equivalent of 20,000 new jobs.

The biggest difference in that study, done a year before the International Olympic Committee selected Salt Lake City to host the 2002 Winter Games, was in the amount of state and local revenue expected.

In 1994 dollars, a total of $108 million in sales, income, corporate, motor vehicle taxes and other fees were expected to be collected. Most of the money, nearly $75 million, would go to the state.

But the latest study determined that a total of $236 million would be collected, with $150 million going into state coffers and $86 million to local governments.

The biggest reason for the difference, according to analyst Brad Barber, is that a new source of Olympic-related revenue was considered this time. That source, private and federal investment, ac-counts for $600 million.

Private and federal investment, along with the organizing committee's $1 billion-plus budget, visitor spending and the money that will be spent by NBC to broadcast the Olympics, are the sources of revenues used in the study.

Barber said private and federal investments include money spent on transportation and construction projects that are either being completed just for the Olympics or on a faster schedule because of the Games.

Examples cited in the study of projects that might be constructed sooner or in "a more expansive fashion" because of the Olympics include the new Little America Hotel and Snowbasin ski resort expansion.


Additional Information

Olympic economics

Total impact $2.8 billion

State and Local tax revenues $236 million

Jobs created 23,000*

Wages and salaries $972 million

Visitors Net increase 50,000 per day

* Equivalent of 23,000 jobs lasting one year

Source: Governor's Office of Planning and Budget

Olympic venue cities

Estimated gross revenue*

Excludes expenditures

Salt Lake City $4,127,000

Provo $2,248,000

West Valley $2,195,000

Ogden $1,470,000

Park City $ 940,000

*Includes school districts/special districts