The group tasked with weighing up support for a possible bid for the 2030 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games from Denver have claimed they are prepared to create a new dynamic of hosting through private financing.
The Exploratory Committee exploring the possibility of Denver hosting the Games in 2030 and have promised it will be a financially stable event by using existing venues, meaning an Olympics in Colorado would cost $2 billion (£1.4 billion)/€1.6 billion) – $48 billion (£33 billion/€38 billion) less than Sochi 2014.
It has been reported that, outside of the $2 billion required from the organisers, which includes the $925 million (£654 million/€748 million) provided by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the rest of the costs could be covered in sponsorships, ticket sales and merchandise.
Exploratory Committee member Steve McConahey, a member of the group that proposed Denver as the United States nomination for the 1998 Winter Olympic and Paralympics, but which was overlooked in favour of Salt Lake City, claimed they would launch a new formula if they were selected.
"We are creating a new paradigm about how you can do the Olympics," he told the Denver Post.
"We should do this and make sure the world knows we are doing this the Colorado way, not the IOC way.
"I think in today’s world, where we have so much disparity and conflict and arguments, you don’t want to underestimate what something like this could do to stir unity and excitement about where we live and what we can do together in our state."
Countries interested in bidding for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games have until Saturday (March 31) to inform the IOC whether they are interested in bidding or not.
Those who submit have the next six months to provide more details of their bids before IOC Session in Buenos Aires in October is due to propose official candidates.
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) have already announced they will not put forward a bidder for the 2026 Games because they do not want to jeopardise the financial success of the 2028 Summer Olympic and Paralympics in Los Angeles.
If Denver submit a bid, it would likely be for the 2030 Winter Olympis as the USOC have already announced they would not jeopardise Los Angeles 2028 by hosting another Games two years earlier ©Colorado.com
Even at this early stag, there remains, a significant amount of opposition to a bid for the 2030 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Colorado with locals concerned about the potential costs of a Games, particularly with the region in the midst of a housing crisis, whilst the aspect of legacy is also playing on people’s minds.
Dani Pirrallo, general manager of the slopeside Sheraton Steamboat Resort hotel said: "We are very, very different than Aspen, Vail, Breckenridge and other destinations in terms of our agricultural, and Olympic and family heritage.
"If we are in this, we need to make sure we differentiate ourselves from those destinations so on the backside after the Olympics are done, we can leverage that to get people to come to visit."
Organisers insist, however, that any potential hurdles can be overcome and used to unite the community – particularly with the region’s Olympic heritage, which has seen more than 100 Olympians come from the area.
Denver also, however, were awarded the 1976 Winter Olympic Games before handing them back to the IOC following a referendum called because of rising costs.
Exploratory Committee consultant Reeves Brown said: "What we heard most in all these communities was more about how these opportunities and challenges could be a catalyst to address problems that already exist.
"Maybe we can use this as a catalyst, is what we’ve heard.
"Using this opportunity to unite a lot of people and emphasize one community.
"The idea of the Olympics being a unifier, not a divider.
"That’s an inspirational message we are hearing."