Talks heat up for 2018 Reno-Tahoe Olympics bid |

Talks heat up for 2018 Reno-Tahoe Olympics bid

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. – Two centuries ago, masses of Americans came West to Nevada and California in search of silver and gold.

In 1960, masses descended on Squaw Valley in search of precious gold, silver and bronze during the Winter Olympics.

Organizers, politicians and athletes in the region hope the world comes again to the area in 2018 if a bid is successful for a Reno/Tahoe winter games.

One of those organizers is Nevada Lt. Governor Brian Krolicki. He said the 2018 bid push is still in the early stages, and a variety of regional representatives are preparing a preliminary bid to submit to the International Olympic Committee in March 2009.

Some of the infrastructure needed for the games includes an Olympic-sized sheet of ice for figure skating and hockey. A few existing venues have been identified for the alpine skiing events, including Squaw Valley USA and Heavenly Mountain Resort.

Jon Killoran is the new CEO for the 2018 bid, and said he worked while on a trip to Beijing for the most recent Olympics to network and re-establish contacts.

Killoran said sustainability is very important to a Reno/Tahoe bid, including everything from green transportation possibilities to using the inevitable Olympic investment to improve the clarity of Lake Tahoe.

James Simon, a Truckee lawyer who is also on the board of the Reno/Tahoe bid, said the board is looking very carefully at the environmental impacts and creating a healthy transportation plan for the Lake Tahoe Basin. That includes shipping in attendees for the games from the Bay Area – a major ticket-buying base.

“Reno/Tahoe has more than sufficient potential for rail service to and from the Bay Area,” Simon said.

The bid suffered a setback when Reno/Tahoe 2018 CEO Jim Vanden Huevel died in March.

“Jim was one of those extraordinary people who had built up a very strategic Rolodex in terms of networking for the bid, and when he died, yeah, we missed a step or two,” Krolicki said. “It was our goal to keep this effort alive, though, and we kicked into another gear going over Jim’s notes and records to re-establish these contacts.”

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