A group of community and civic leaders representing broad interests from across Colorado will meet in the coming weeks to evaluate the possibility of Denver submitting a bid to the U.S. Olympic Committee to host an Olympic Winter Games.
The Denver Exploratory Committee will identify the opportunities and challenges of a bid based on facts gathered by many others who have worked on this issue over a long period. The committee will examine the financial issues, the feasibility and the economic impact of a potential bid and answer questions about such things as protocol, timing, venue requirements and process. Committee members will then present their findings to Gov. John Hickenlooper and Mayor Michael Hancock.
Any decision to submit a bid for the 2022 Games will be based in part on outcomes from the Denver Exploratory Committee process and any outcomes relating to the International Olympic Committee and U.S. Olympic Committee decision-making processes.
"The opportunity to pursue the Games is an endeavor worth taking very seriously," Hickenlooper said. "We've asked this exploratory committee to explore all issues relevant to Denver potentially submitting a bid to the USOC. Those issues include making certain any bid would be financially sound and will help economic growth in the state. We would also want to find ways to showcase Colorado as the healthiest state in the nation for work and play no matter of a bid's outcome."
"The combination of natural winter resources, healthy lifestyle and a pro-business environment would make Denver a strong applicant to host the Games," Hancock said. "But first we're going to ask the right questions and make sure we're satisfied with the answers. The work by the Denver Exploratory Committee will begin laying the groundwork for a larger conversation about Denver playing host to the Olympics."
The Denver Exploratory Committee will be co-chaired by community leaders Anne Warhover and Don Elliman.
"We are aware Denver is forming an exploratory committee to look at the possibility of a bid for an Olympic Winter Games," said Patrick Sandusky, Chief Communications Officer for the USOC. "As we have stated to Denver and other interested cities, the USOC is not focused on bids at this time."
Elliman said there is no bid without the USOC.
"The USOC is working diligently with the International Olympic Committee on a number of important topics, and we do not intend to get in the way of the immense work that both organizations have done to date," Elliman said. "Our intent is to form a clear leadership group from the state and city to evaluate if the Olympic Winter Games is a good fit for Denver and Colorado."
The Denver Exploratory Committee members are:
* Don Elliman, Executive Director, Charles C. Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cell Biology, University of Colorado Medical School
* Anne Warhover, CEO, Colorado Health Foundation
* Ernie Blake, former Mayor of Breckenridge
* Jeremy Bloom, Olympian
* Kelly Brough, CEO, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
* KieAnn Brownell
* Cedric Buchanon, City President, BBVA Compass
* Mario Carrera, VP for Colorado Markets, Entravision Communications
* Rob Cohen, CEO, IMA Financial Group
* Tami Door, CEO, Downtown Denver Partnership
* Steve Farber, Shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
* Cole Finegan, Partner, Hogan Lovells
* Harry Frampton, Chairman, Vail Valley Foundation
* LaCharles Keesee, Senior Advisor to the Mayor, Office of Mayor Michael Hancock
* Ken Lund, Executive Director, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade
* Steve McConahey, Chairman, SGM Capital
* Chris Osborn, Chairman of the Board, Poudre Valley Health System
* Christine Riordan, Dean, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver
* Richard Scharf, CEO, Visit Denver
* Hon. Elbra Wedgeworth, Chief Government and Community Relations Officer, Denver Health
* Sara Will, Paralympian
* Richard Young, Partner, Holme Roberts & Owen