Salt Lake City has one, of course, although Park City's was the first. Others are in cities along the Wasatch Front as well as at the University of Utah. Now Salt Lake and Summit counties are going to get their own.
Just about every city, county or other government entity involved with the 2002 Winter Games, it seems, is putting someone in charge of watching out for its Olympic interests.They're Olympic coordinators, a government post that didn't exist until recently and one that's often combined with other duties, ranging from economic development to teaching law school.
Each is expected to come up with ways to capitalize on the Olympics. That means tapping into the economic benefits the Games are supposed to bring, as well as making sure no opportunities are lost.
So far, the coordinators say, they're working together rather than competing against each other. They've even been meeting together monthly since last December to share ideas and concerns.
The state's own Olympic coordinator, John Fowler, said the informal gatherings have been a "helpful, constructive effort, and I expect it to stay that way."
That spirit of cooperation will likely be put to the test as local entities begin negotiating contracts with the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for services during the Games.
Olympic organizers are going to have to come up with cash for everything from the police officers who'll direct traffic to the workers who pick up trash and remove snow during the Games.
West Valley City's Wayne Pyle said he's worried his fellow coordinators will adopt the attitude of "everyone for themselves" once negotiations with SLOC get under way. But he's trying to stay optimistic.
"I think we will hang together, largely," Pyle said. "The most competitive part of the whole thing is probably over." That was when SLOC chose which cities would get Olympic venues - and millions of Olympic dollars.
With a few exceptions, those decisions were made long before 1995, when Salt Lake City was selected by the International Olympic Committee to host the 2002 Winter Games.
Right now, most of the entities with Olympic coordinators also are hosting events in 2002. That's changing, though, with Salt Lake County's recent decision to fund a coordinator position.
Whoever is hired for the new job with the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce will be responsible for looking out for areas that do not have a competition site or other Olympic venue.
"We don't want anyone left out," said Stan Parrish, the chamber's executive director. "If we do not get in the way of SLOC, I don't think we can get too many people involved."
Leland Gamette, Provo's economic development director, agreed that the more the merrier. "I'm not terribly afraid of too much involvement," Gamette said, as long as everyone works together.
"I think there are a lot of different motivations out there," he said. "If everyone's out there working independently, (it increases) the chances of duplication and of some cities missing the boat."
Bountiful City Manager Tom Hardy is not so sure. "If everyone wanted to get on board and piggyback on that, it could get out of hand," he said. But Hardy said he doesn't see a lot of other cities getting involved - yet.
"I hope they don't," said Hardy, who belongs to the Olympic coordinators group. "This should not be viewed as an `in-the-black' proposition . . . I don't think this is one where anybody is going to make a killing."
Bountiful, however, wants Olympic organizers to lease the city's ice rink during the Games. The 20-year-old Bountiful Recreation Center facility would be used by Olympic skaters for practice.
Other entities with Olympic coordinators have other interests.
Salt Lake City
Think of Renee Tanner as the coordinator of coordinators. In addition to serving as Salt Lake City's director of Olympic opportunities planning, she coordinates meetings of other Olympic coordinators.
The coordinators have been getting together monthly since last December with Tanner helping to set the agenda. After all, it is Salt Lake City's name on the Games.
"Our success is critical to everyone's success," Tanner said. And everyone else's success is critical to Salt Lake City. "If something goes wrong at a venue, it'll be Salt Lake City's name, no matter where it is," she said.
Utah's capital city won't host any Olympic competitions, but the world's media will work at the Salt Palace and the International Olympic Committee will meet in Abravanel Hall.
The city will be the site of nightly medal ceremonies. And just about everyone connected with the Olympics will arrive and depart from the Salt Lake International Airport.
The Olympics won't be the first big event centered in Salt Lake City. Over the years, the city has handled visits by everyone from the Rolling Stones to conventioneers to basketball stars.
Still, the Olympics is the big one, the event that will affect virtually every department of city government from street maintenance to the library, which could become an information center for visitors during the Games.
"We've done Voodoo Lounge at the university. We've done the outdoor retailers show at the Salt Palace. We've done the NBA playoffs at the Delta Center," Tanner said.
"But we've never done them all at the same time."
"We're very committed to doing this right," said Frank Bell, who stepped down as Park City's police chief a year ago to become the first full-time Olympic coordinator in the state.
Bell, who earns $62,500 annually, said Park City is making a long-term investment in the Olympics. "I don't know if you get your money back dollar-for-dollar," he said.
"The value is that this city is in the business of entertaining people," Bell said, and the Olympics will give Park City a chance to strut its stuff in front of the world.
If the mountain resort community didn't take advantage of the attention, Bell is convinced that some other tourist destination along the Wasatch Front would.
" you take the minimalist approach and throw services at the Olympics and call it a day, other people will likely steal the opportunities you have," he said.
Just what Park City will do has yet to be decided. Bell said he's looking for a chance to entertain the thousands of journalists and corporate sponsors expected at the Games, along with the tourists who'll come up to see events.
Those events will be spread out over two ski areas, Park City and Deer Valley, as well as the Utah Winter Sports Park located outside the city near Kimball Junction, off I-80.
Besides skiing, the area will host ski jumping, snowboarding, bobsled and luge events.
West Valley City
Even though the city was able to wrest away the ice hockey venue from Salt Lake City a few years ago, Pyle, the assistant city manager, said it's still important to stay on top of what's going on with the Olympics.
"I don't think we've been hit upside the head yet with everything that's going to affect us," he said. That includes the city services contract with the organizing committee.
West Valley City outmaneuvered its competition for the men's ice hockey events back in 1995 by promising to build what became the E Center, asking less money from SLOC.
Pyle, who earns $55,000 a year as the city's assistant manager, said he devotes about 10 to 15 percent of his time to the Olympics. He said it doesn't look as if West Valley City will turn those duties into a full-time job.
"There's a lot of money we would stand to lose" without someone keeping an eye on the Olympics, Pyle said. "From that standpoint, the city is getting its money's worth."
Pyle is looking for ways to keep the thousands of fans who'll come to West Valley City for hockey matches happy. "We want to make sure people have other things to do and places to go."
But Pyle said he realizes West Valley City has its limitations for Olympic visitors. "I don't have any illusion that we're downtown Salt Lake City," he said. "We don't feel slighted by that."
"It's silly for us to think that all the attention will be focused on Ogden during the Olympics. That's not the case," Ogden Olympic Coordinator Cathleen Dressler said, echoing Pyle's comments..
Even so, Dressler, who started last March, believes Ogden can get an economic boost from being an Olympic venue. The Ice Sheet, a facility built with state and local tax dollars, will be the site of curling competitions.
As a result, official Olympic visitors are expected to fill up 80 percent of the city's hotel rooms. Plus, private and charter planes will land at the local airport during the Games.
Olympic ticket-holders for the downhill skiing events scheduled for nearby Snowbasin ski resort may travel through Ogden, although they're more likely to be routed along I-80.
Dressler intends to show off Ogden's attractions, including the restaurants and bars along historic 25th Street. Her goal is to sell Olympic visitors on the city as a great place to return to for business or pleasure.
That means Ogden residents may not see an immediate return on the $60,000 a year they're investing in her salary. But she said they will eventually. "I completely believe they will recoup in the area of Ogden's image."
It may have been one of the last to get a venue, but Provo is the first - and so far only - city to have settled with Olympic organizers on how much it will charge for traffic control and other services during the Games.
The contract with SLOC for the use of the new ice arena for women's hockey matches, under constructed at Seven Peaks, calls for Provo and Utah County to pay the first $160,000 worth of bills for government services.
Anything beyond that will be paid by the organizing committee. It's a deal that puts Provo ahead of other venue cities, which are just getting started on what will likely be difficult negotiations for government services.
Gamette said Provo is focusing on finding ways to make sure local residents feel a part of the Olympics, whether or not they have tickets to the women's hockey matches.
"The thing were're really interested in doing as a city is involving the community in the Olympics," he said. "This is an opportunity for the world to see us, but it's also an opportunity for our people to see the world."
What Gamette isn't doing is spending a lot time worrying about using the Olympics to further the area's economic development. "That will come naturally,"' he said.
As director of economic development, Gamette estimates he spends no more than 15 percent of his time right now on the Olympics. The city, which pays him $80,000 annually, isn't likely to invest in a full-time Olympic coordinator.
The most isolated of all the Olympic venues, the cross country and biathlon courses in Wasatch Mountain State Park near Midway will offer Games-goers a unique chance to see rural Utah up close.
At least that's Robyn Pearson's pitch. As the executive director of Project 2000 for the Heber Valley Chamber of Commerce, Pearson spends about one-fourth of his time trying to tie the area's economic development to the Olympics.
That includes establishing the Heber Valley as a year-round destination that has "a more country feel rather than the neon lights and asphalt" of Salt Lake City and Park City.
"We don't want to be all things to all people. Anyone looking for glitzy nightlife is not going to find it in Heber," he said. "We don't want to put on a slick and glossy coat of paint for the Olympics. That's not us."
Rides on the Heber Creeper, celebrations similar to the area's famous "Swiss Days" and roaming bison will keep the area's motel rooms filled long after the Games are gone, Pearson believes.
"The Olympics is real economic development for us," he said. "We struggle in the winter." Attracting visitors in the off-season is already top priority, since about 25 percent of the area's jobs are tourism-related.
University of Utah
The 2002 Winter Games are an educational opportunity for students, said Wayne McCormack, a U. law professor earning $106,000 annually. At present, he devotes half his time to being the campus' Olympic coordinator.
Although the university is getting money from Olympic organizers to help pay for new student housing and the expansion of Rice Stadium, McCormack said the new and improved facilities are "last on our list of priorities."
What is important? The campus believes it should maintain the master list of volunteer jobs with Olympic organizers for both students and the community at large.
"It's a blend of self-interest and service. We want to be a focal point for volunteer opportunities," McCormack said. "We think we can do that by helping SLOC organize the volunteer database."
Just who will end up compiling a list of what could add up to thousands of non-paying positions related to the Olympics has yet to be decided. But the U. is already listing ways for students to earn experience and course credit.
Utah Olympic coordinators
Title: Utah Olympic officer
Percent of time spent on Olympic issues: 100%
Title: Salt Lake City director of Olympic opportunities
Percent of time spent on Olympic issues: 100%
Title: Park City Olympic planning and services director
Percent of time spent on Olympic issues: 100%
Title: Ogden Olympic coordinator
Percent of time spent on Olympic issues: 100%
Title: Heber Valley Chamber of Commerce executive director Project 2000
Percent of time spent on Olympic issues: 25%
Title: West Valley assistant city manager
Percent of time spent on Olympic issues: 10-15%
Title: University of Utah Olympic coordinator
Percent of time spent on Olympic issues: 50%
Title: Provo economic development director
Percent of time spent on Olympic issues: 15%