April 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Newsline newsline.gif (8042 bytes)   THE GAMES ARE GONE, BUT THE MEETING VENUES REMAIN
Salt Lake Goes for Gold
Lights, action: Salt Lake in its Olympic splendor While the heroes of the 2002 Winter Olympics have left Salt Lake City, much remains here and in surrounding towns, including sparkling new venues and a fresh optimism about the future of meetings business.

Bill Malone, executive director of the Park City Chamber of Commerce, predicts a growth in meetings interest will come slowly but will be sustained over several years. “We expect to feel the upturn in the summer and go into next year, springboarding off all the familiarity and attention,” he said.

Home of the picturesque main street that was a central image of the Olympics, Park City will keep Utah Olympic Sports Park, where the ski jumping, bobsled, luge and skeleton events were held. The facilities will now be used for training; groups can watch scheduled practices or participate themselves by taking bobsled rides.

The Ice Sheet at Ogden, built for curling events, is an Olympic-size rink suitable for ice hockey and recreational skating. Smaller meetings are welcome in the Sheet’s conference room and outdoor patio space.

“We do corporate team-building with curling,” said Barbara McConvill, director of marketing for the Ogden CVB. “Our curling club president has taken the concept to the ice. You build your team and achieve your goal of learning the game.”

Ogden also is home to Snow Basin, where the alpine ski events were run. About $100 million was spent there before the Olympics, including the addition of three day lodges that now can host groups of up to 400.

In Salt Lake City proper, hopes are high that the Olympics will catapult the city into a more popular meetings destination.

“We hope that planners now are saying, ‘Maybe Salt Lake can handle my convention, if they handled the Olympic Games,’” said Pat Holmes, vice president of marketing for the Salt Lake CVB.


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