By Stan Bush
DENVER (CBS4) – One of the biggest excuses to reject the Winter Olympics may no longer be relevant, according to Denver’s Olympic Exploratory Committee.
On Thursday, Robert Cohen, chairman of the exploratory committee, defied one of the longest held obstacles to hosting the Olympics, saying Colorado could host the games without any major capital improvements to the I-70 mountain corridor.
“The early indications are that I-70 can be utilized for a 17-day event that incorporates 2.5 weekends and the weekdays to move the number of people up and down that we need to host the games,” says Cohen.
Cohen says the committee is considering how Vancouver hosted the 2010 Olympics by converting the two-lane highway to Whistler-Blackcomb into a shifting 3-lane system.
“I’m not saying it’s ideal. I’m not saying it’s perfect. I’m saying it’s a 17-day event and certainly the interstate would accommodate that,” adds Cohen.
The committee is considering plans for the 2026 winter games, but with Los Angeles hosting the Summer Olympics in 2028, it is more likely that the 2030 game would be targeted if Denver does pursue a bid.
The committee is still working on a finalized report that will be presented to Mayor Hancock and Governor Hickenlooper in late April.