DENVER -- The city of Denver is actively exploring the possibility of hosting the Olympics.
"I think it is a great idea. I think having an Olympics here would show off so much of what we have done in this state," Gov. John Hickenlooper said Thursday after his final State of the State address.
Denver was awarded the 1976 Winter Olympics only to give them back after residents cited costs and the environmental impact.
"The financial model is completely different for hosting the Olympics now," Hickenlooper said. "No longer are you having to come out of your pocket with hundreds of millions of dollars that you'll never get paid back.
"Now what is happening, you utilize existing buildings and existing infrastructure. We would probably use several different resorts and their ski slopes, and tie that into buildings and event opportunities in metro Denver.
"There is a reason places like Salt Lake City are dying to get the Olympics back."
Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics and is considering a bid for future games. The next available games are in 2026, after Pyeongchang, South Korea, hosts next month and Beijing in 2022.
When asked if a train to the mountains would be needed to get the games, Hickenlooper said, "I don't think so. I think we need a good bus rapid transit. A bus that would feel like a train. I don't see anyway we would get a train by 2026, 2028. We aren't going to get a train by then."