Squaw Valley Resort made its name in 1960, when the Winter Olympics brought the world’s best athletes into Tahoe and took over the mountain resort for a few weeks of glory. Recently, it looked like a possibility the Winter Olympics could return to the region, but following an analysis, the bid was declined.
The Reno-Tahoe Winter Games Coalition recently said that the Winter Olympics isn’t financially feasible for the region and declined a bid invitation from the United States Olympic Committee to participate in a process to decide the next U.S. city to host.
“We have maintained from the start that a Reno-Tahoe bid would have to make sense economically, environmentally and socially,” said Brian Krolicki, RTWGC board chairman, in the release. “Given the parameters and conditions presented, we cannot make the numbers pass muster. To continue, at this point, would be untenable and unwise.”
The Reno-Tahoe area was selected by the USOC as part of an accelerated process for a Winter Olympic bid. 2002 Olympic Winter Games host Salt Lake City and Denver are the other two cities invited to participate in this process. But alas, the model, both economically and environmentally, did not make sense.
“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.”
The decision to decline the bid was not taken lightly. A 2030 Winter Olympics in Tahoe would be a significant economic and marketing draw that would bring visitors to the region for decades to come. But the Winter Olympics is much bigger today than it was in 1960 and it would bring significant challenges for a small, low-populated area that takes its environmental footprint very seriously.
The RTWGC will continue to evaluate bid opportunities past 2030.