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A formal recommendation on whether Salt Lake City should bid for another Winter Olympics will be prepared by a leading organizer of Utah's 2002 Games.
Grant Thomas, the Salt Lake Organizing Committee's senior vice president over venues and transportation, will be offered a contract of up to $35,000 by the Olympic Exploratory Committee to write a report this summer to Gov. Gary Herbert that is likely to endorse another bid campaign.
The report is due on about July 1.
"He's one of the most capable people in the world" to craft a document that will serve as an important foundation to a future bid, former SLOC President Fraser Bullock said Thursday in nominating Thomas for the job.
Bullock cited Thomas' experience with the organizing committee, which he joined in 1998 after being part of a Bechtel Corp. team that helped then-SLOC President Frank Joklik put together a comprehensive budget for the 2002 Games.
Since then, Bullock said, Thomas has been a consultant to the International Olympic Committee, serving on technical teams that evaluate plans of various bid cities and preparations under way in future Olympic host cities.
He recently completed a report on Pyeongchang, South Korea, host of the 2018 Winter Olympics. Salt Lake City is considering a run for the 2022 Games if the IOC and U.S. Olympic Committee resolve a revenue-sharing dispute in time for an American city to participate. To meet that deadline would require resolution of the dispute in the next year.
Becoming a host city is a continuous process, Bullock advised, noting that "every step we want to put our best foot forward."
Reports such as the recommendation to the governor often become the basis for the way a bid is assessed down the line, he added, "so we want it to show the USOC and the IOC that we're thoughtful, careful and have taken into consideration all aspects of the Olympic movement."
Another asset: Thomas also lives in Utah, having recently wrapped up a job as director of construction services for City Creek Center in downtown Salt Lake City.
Because Thomas is so familiar with the area and the 2002 venues and operating plan, Bullock said his fee would be small compared to independent consultants, who could cost $200,000.
Seconding Bullock's endorsement was Brett Hopkins, SLOC's chief financial officer. "I don't think we could find anyone more capable, qualified to do this job," Hopkins said.
Thomas will be paid with private funds provided through the Utah Sports Commission.
He will have to resign his position on the Olympic Exploratory Committee, provide a letter from the IOC authorizing him to do work for the bid, and sign a "no-compete" agreement.