Exploratory committee seeks input on whether Denver should bid for Winter Olympics

DENVER -- Denver is moving a step closer to possibly making a bid for the Winter Olympics.

On Thursday night, the exploratory committee putting together a possible bid by the city will hold a webinar.

It will be a chance for citizens to give input on the plan.

In 1970, Denver was awarded the 1976 Winter Olympics, but voters in 1972 rejected a $5 million bond issue to help finance the Games.

A week after the ballot box loss, Denver relinquished its rights to host the Games, the only city to have done so.

The U.S. Olympic Committee is expected to decide by next month whether it wants to get the Winter Olympics for 2026 or 2030. Salt Lake City and Reno, Nevada, have expressed interest in hosting the games.

Denver is working on a very tight timetable to make a bid.

The exploratory committee is looking at whether Denver should the Games. Committee members don't want to repeat the mistakes of the 1976 Games.

The plan is to privately fund the event with no taxpayer dollars. Committee members believe Denver could stand a pretty good chance of landing the Games.

"We have a lot of ice rinks all around the state," said Richard Scharf with Visit Denver. "First Bank, Magness, Pepsi Center. We have a lot of ski resorts that are used to handling international events.

"This is a long-term economic play for Denver. In Salt Lake City, they made a $90 billion legacy, made a surplus over their budget. They are bidding again. Must be something good about the Olympics."

The last Winter Olympics in the U.S. were in Salt Lake City in 2002. Los Angeles will host the Summer Olympics in 2028.

The online webinar will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday.