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April 5, 2012
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California, Nevada merge efforts for 2022 Olympics bid

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — Fifty-two years after the Olympic flame was first ignited in the Tahoe region, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki announced on Thursday the formation of the Lake Tahoe Winter Games Exploratory Committee.

The committee, according to a press release, is a new joint California/Nevada initiative, building on existing efforts dedicated to developing an Olympic bid for Reno/Tahoe/Sacramento for the 2022 Winter Games.

The committee has been created by the leadership of the Reno Tahoe Winter Games Coalition and the California Winter Games Committee — who recently were joined by the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee.

“The timing is right for Californians and Nevadans to come together and seriously explore bringing the Winter Olympic Games to the Tahoe region,” Krolicki said in a statement. “Our new committee is the evolution of years of work by many people, and if the United States Olympic Committee decides to bid on the 2022 Winter Games, we will be ready to showcase the Tahoe region's scenic majesty and winter games capabilities.”

According to the press release, the Lake Tahoe Winter Games Exploratory Committee will work to create a group of business, civic and political leaders tasked with exploring the benefits and impacts of hosting the Olympic Games in the Lake Tahoe Region.

The group's leadership — to include a robust environmental team — will be announced in coming weeks.

“As someone who has worked on bids for major sporting events like the Olympic Games and the America's Cup, I know how important it will be for us to have a galvanized regional effort,” Newsom said in a statement. “We will only succeed if leaders on both sides of the state line stand as one.”

Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resorts, is the committee's interim chair, according to the press release.

According to previous reports, Krolicki said if the region wins the bid, only portions of the events would happen at Lake Tahoe, with others taking place in Reno and Sacramento.

A bid for the Olympics could cost around $5 million.

Denver, Salt Lake City, Lake Placid, N.Y., and Bozeman, Mont., have all expressed interest in hosting the 2022 event.

If the USOC chooses to do so, it would make a bid for the 2022 Winter Games in 2013. The host city will be awarded in 2015.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Apr 5, 2012 12:17PM Published Apr 5, 2012 12:15PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.