Olympics Committee Extends Decision Deadline

The exploratory committee charged with studying a possible bid for the Olympic Winter Games will make a recommendation to state and city leaders in April.  Previously, the committee was working with a March 31st deadline.

A recent announcement from the United States Olympic Committee that it was not interested in bidding for the 2026 event was partially responsible for the new time frame.

"The focus on our committee is that when the U.S.O.C. asks for an Olympic bid, is whether Denver should be interested in pursuing that," said committee Chair Robert Cohen.  "That doesn't have a date, whether it's 2026, 2030 or 2034."

Cohen hopes more people will weigh in through an online survey, open through March 3rd.  He says roughly 6,500 people have responded so far.  The committee is also hosting an online meeting Saturday from 9 am - 10 am.

Committee members say public input will play a role in their decision.

"I think we realize that I-70 is an issue today, was an issue yesterday and is probably going to be an issue in the next 10 years," said sub-committee Chair Richard Scharf.  "What we're trying to look at through the operations committee is whether we can host the games today under current conditions."

Scharf's operations committee has been meeting with mountain communities.

"They've been very positive and it's been a good process," said Scharf.

Cohen assured media members that the committee's recommendation will serve the best interest of Colorado.

"We still hope that if we host it, there is a legacy and benefit to our community," said Cohen.  "Otherwise you have to ask yourself why."

Cohen said the committee is looking at how the games could help address long-term issues like affordable housing and infrastructure.

Listen below for comments from committee Chair Robert Cohen and sub-committee Chair Richard Scharf:

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