By Matt Kroschel
EAGLE, Colo. (CBS4)– Resort towns would likely see major impacts from any future Olympics in Colorado, starting with the most obvious– an already congested Interstate 70 through the mountain corridor.
“As goes the state of Colorado so goes the state and vice versa… Denver is not an island unto itself,” Reeves Brown- Denver Olympic bid exploratory committee, said.
At issue is if the City of Denver is awarded the Winter Games in 2030, the impact would be felt statewide. The increase in traffic and congestion along I-70 would be a reality because skiing and other events would not happen in the Denver metro area, but in the mountains.
“Nothing has been decided, we haven’t even decided if we are going to bid, but a lot has been talked about,” Brown said.
A series of mountain town meetings are happening now, exploring answers to the questions: “Should we and can we?”
The idea of thousands of winter sports fans descending on Colorado’s mountain towns for a future Winter Olympics doesn’t really faze the town leaders who attended the meetings.
“I would argue the mountain towns are the heart and soul of the Winter Olympics where the exciting things happen,” Eagle County commissioner Kathy Chandler-Helly told CBS4 following a meeting with the committee on Tuesday.
Resort towns are no stranger to hosting large events, like the X Games in Aspen and the Dew Tour in Breckenridge.
The Olympics would, of course, bring bigger challenges including venue and Olympic Village construction, but Eagle County Commissioners say they are eager to learn how the Olympics could benefit mountain towns.
Olympic exploratory committee representatives will be visiting Vail, Georgetown and Steamboat in the coming days.