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Today I Learned… Colorado Turned Down the Olympics Over Traffic

I was writing a story on a toll traffic lane in Colorado and came upon this quote from the Denver Post:

Traffic congestion was considered a major reason why Colorado voters rejected the 1976 Winter Olympics. Denver remains the only host city in the history of the Olympics to be awarded the Games but then reject them. The 1976 Winter Olympics went to Innsbruck, Austria, instead.

Contrast that with Utah and Mountain Accord. We seem to want to build more infrastructure so we can bring in more people and hopefully bring in even more with a future Olympics.

The implications here are tremendous. We have seven ski resorts that are very close together. There’s been some talk about connecting those ski resorts. What are the transportation implications of that. We’re talking about the Olympics and maybe making a bid for the Olympics and there’s probably about 14 years or something down the road, but you have to start planning for that type of thing now. So this [money for Mountain Accord] is, I believe, money well spent.Wayne Niederhauser, State Senator and Mountain Accord Executive Committee Member

Perhaps Utah does need an Olympics to jump start our economy. Perhaps, we as a people, want to spends billions to update and expand our infrastructure. Perhaps we’re willing to trade some quality of life for a train. Perhaps the inflow to our economy from the visitors associated with an Olympics outweighs negatives.

Everybody has their own opinion on that. I just found the difference between 1970’s Denver and 2016 Salt Lake interesting. Perhaps Denver residents may view it differently today. I wonder how our residents would vote on an Olympic bid?



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