DENVER — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock have accepted a recommendation from the Winter Games Exploratory Committee to pursue hosting a future Olympics.
The decision comes after the committee spoke with more than 30,000 Coloradans about potentially hosting the Games, a statement released Friday morning said.
The committee said that based on the feedback it received, it will take a new approach to creating a potential bid. It said the new model would allow Denver and Colorado to host the Games without and direct funding from taxpayers.
“The Winter Games would be a statewide event, with major competition venues outside of Denver and athletes and spectators from all over the state participating; therefore, a statewide referendum would empower the voters of Colorado to decide,” the statement said.
The committee said Denver and Colorado’s mountain communities are “more than capable” of hosting the Olympics. Moreover, the committee said it recognizes Coloradans’ concerns regarding challenges like affordable housing, transportation and sustainability.
“While an Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games cannot solve such shared priorities for the city and state, the Games could be a catalyst to speed up solutions that may be planned or under consideration,” the statement said, referring to cities like Vancouver and Salt Lake City, which the committee said benefited from hosting the Winter Games.
When Denver might host the Games is still unclear.
“The [United States Olympic Committee” has publicly stated it is focused on pursuing a 2030 bid or beyond,” the statement said.
In 1976, Denver was slated to host the Olympic Games. However, voters decided not to host the games, and the city relinquished its bid.