Salt Palace Convention Center general manager Rip Rippetoe has been swept up in the Olympics juggernaut.
Rippetoe decided Monday to resign his position to become senior vice president of the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau over Olympic-related matters. He will leave the Salt Palace probably some time before Sept. 15, when construction on the expanded Salt Palace begins. That should allow Salt Lake County and SMG, the Salt Palace management company, enough time to find a new general manager."We're thrilled" that Rippetoe is coming, said CVB president Rick Davis.
Rippetoe will have fairly specific Olympic-related responsibilities in his new position. Primarily, he will be in charge of coordinating with the Salt Lake Organizing Committee as regards spectator services, information centers and providing downtown Salt Lake City with an Olympic "look."
"It's something that has yet to be developed," Rippetoe said, "(but) it will provide not only the community but the visitors with an experience."
Whether dressing up the city in its Olympic best will involve banners, signs, graphics, directions or what, and in what way, Rippetoe can't say, but "graphics will be a large part of it - information on helping people get around. I'm sure we'll do something thematic."
Rippetoe will coordinate information centers at the venues and the medal ceremony location, that will give people directions, suggestions as to what to do in the area, information on Olympic-related events, and, significantly, information on the area's natural environment.