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Saturday, January 7, 2012
2022 Olympics would cost Denver $1.5B

Associated Press

DENVER -- Holding the Winter Olympics in Denver in 2022 would cost about $1.5 billion -- most of which would be privately raised, a Colorado-based sports marketing company told city and state officials on Saturday.

Alem International Management Inc. made the inflation-adjusted estimate after looking at the cost of the 2002 Salt Lake City games, The Denver Post reported. The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, by contrast, cost $1.86 billion.

The Denver estimate came at the first meeting of an exploratory committee that will decide within 90 days on whether to pursue or abandon a bid. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock convened the panel, which includes business leaders and other public officials.

Denver was awarded the 1976 Winter Olympics, but voters later rejected the idea over concerns of pollution and sprawl. The games were eventually held in Innsbruck, Austria.

The panel, which is tasked with assessing infrastructure concerns and the potential impact to the economy and the environment, plans to meet again in two weeks. Denver may eventually have to compete with several other U.S. cities, including Reno-Lake Tahoe, Nev., Salt Lake City and Lake Placid, N.Y.

The U.S. Olympic Committee hasn't yet determined whether it will recommend a U.S. city to host the 2022 games. The International Olympic Committee will choose a host city in 2015.