Reno-Tahoe declines invite for Olympic Winter Games bid

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - UPDATE: The Reno Tahoe Winter Games Coalition has made a decision about responding to the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) for consideration to bid for an unspecified future Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

The USOC invitation is a result of the longstanding effort by the Reno Tahoe Winter Games Coalition and its stakeholders to showcase the Lake Tahoe region and state of Nevada as a world-class destination for elite sports competitions and events.

The USOC’s invitation requested the RTWGC submit responses to a detailed workbook covering the areas of bid vision, venue planning, transportation planning, security, budgets and public engagements among other topics, with a submission deadline of November 9, 2018. After reviewing the workbook and undertaking significant deliberation, the RTWGC "regrettably, but respectfully," declined the USOC's invitation to provide a response.

According to a Reno-Tahoe release, "The RTWGC did not come to this decision lightly. However, it was a necessary decision. The RTWGC determined that the potential for a near-term U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2030 would not be feasible financially for our region. Los Angeles will host the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games and will have exclusive marketing rights from early next year through the Games completion in 2028.

"Budget models for the Reno-Tahoe bid are based on a traditional seven-year marketing and sponsorship cycle and the RTWGC does not see an alternative business model to make a significantly shorter time span work," says the release.

“We have maintained from the start that a Reno-Tahoe bid would have to make sense economically, environmentally and socially,” says Brian Krolicki, RTWGC Board Chairman. “Given the parameters and conditions presented, we cannot make the numbers pass muster. To continue, at this point, would be untenable and unwise.”

Despite this decision, Reno-Tahoe will continue to pursue its Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games hosting aspirations, so that should a traditional time-lined bid cycle beyond 2030 arise, the region will be poised to once again engage.

“I’d like to thank the Reno-Tahoe Winter Games Coalition for participating in our process up to this point,” says USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland. “The leaders in Nevada and California have demonstrated an incredible commitment to the Olympic and Paralympic community and the athletes we all serve. The USOC looks forward to continuing to work with RTWGC to identify new opportunities to take advantage
of the tremendous assets the state of Nevada has to offer, from Reno-Tahoe to Las Vegas, to support Team USA and advance Olympic and Paralympic sport in the United States.”

The RTWGC says it remains committed to its role in helping bring elite sports competitions and events to the region and state, as well as to support the area’s Olympic Movement and Heritage.

“We have always spoken of the value of the process,” says Jon Killoran, RTWGC Chief Executive Officer. “Over the past decade the pursuit of our Olympic and Paralympic Games dream opened the door to host World Championships, World Congresses of Sport, World Cup events and other elite competitions, which would not have been possible without the tireless work of our board, staff, donors and stakeholders to raise the world-wide awareness of the Reno-Tahoe, Las Vegas and Nevada brands.”

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ORIGINAL STORY: The Reno Tahoe Winter Games Coalition has announced it has received an invitation on behalf of the Reno-Lake Tahoe region from the United States Olympic Committee to take part in an accelerated process to select the next United States city to represent the country in a future Winter Olympic bid competition.

The coalition says the USOC did not specify the year targeted to host this future Olympic Winter Games, but the USOC made the formal invitation to the RTWGC, which representing the area's interests in Olympic-related matters.

The invitation includes a workbook, seeking detailed information on a variety of bid categories and factors, with a deadline of November 9, 2018 for the submission of responses to the workbook.

"This invitation is an affirmation of all the inspired time and effort contributed by so many over the past fifteen years to return the Olympic rings to our area," says RTWGC Board Chairman Brian Krolicki.

The Winter Games were held at Squaw Valley in 1960.

Krolicki continues, "We have always believed that the Reno-Tahoe region offers a very unique and exciting opportunity to welcome the world’s Olympic Community, especially its elite winter athletes, while creating long-lasting benefits for our communities. We are exceedingly proud that our collective and sustained Olympic related efforts have been recognized by the USOC, and are delighted to be one of three cities considered capable of hosting a future Olympic Winter Games in the United States."

The RTWGC says it is reviewing the workbook, saying it will only proceed if doing so makes sense for the entire region and has a viable business model.

"From the start, we have asserted that a Winter Games bid must make economic, environmental and social sense," said Jon Killoran, RTWGC Chief Executive Officer. "We are proud to be recognized by the USOC as worthy of this opportunity, and we shall review the requirements set forth in the USOC workbook through the lens of ensuring that we can
satisfy our firm commitment to these principles. Timing is also a key component, both on the home front, as well as the Olympic Games bid situation from cycle to cycle."

2002 Olympic Winter Games host Salt Lake City and Denver are the other two cities invited to participate in this process.

RTWGC leadership attends sports conferences, working to bring elite sports competitions and events to the Reno-Tahoe region and the state of Nevada.