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We're in this together: Utah's business community supports the bid.


As the clock ticks closer toward June 15, hundreds of the seemingly tireless volunteers who have fueled Salt Lake's bid effort will hold their breaths with more than a little anticipation. Will years of hard work pay off in Olympic gold, or will Salt Lake see its hopes dashed yet a third time?

Regardless of the outcome, the world's attention will be focused on Utah's capital city this month, due in great part to the contributions of the state's business leaders and corporations. Without their dedication and commitment, the long and often frustrating bid process would have been impossible to undertake.

A Leader in Private Funding

Of the five cities competing for the 1998 Olympic Winter Games, only Salt Lake has ventured to compete through the expensive process of bidding for the games without the benefit of public funding.

The state has committed $56 million for construction of facilities and venues, but the $3.7 million needed to bring International Olympic Committee (IOC) members to Salt Lake and, once here, to reflect the city in its best light, stems from private donations.

The business community's rally to the Olympic call and the personal and corporate fund-raising efforts of its leaders has been unprecedented in Utah's history, according to Fred Ball, president of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. "We promised the voters of Utah we wouldn't ask them for money and we haven't - but believe me, that would have been impossible without the phenomenal private effort generated by business in this state," he observed.

Ball, who was appointed vice-chairman of the Salt Lake City Bid Committee in December, has since spent the majority of his time in fund-raising and support of the effort, as has the entire Chamber of Commerce staff.

Despite the generosity of local business leaders, raising the necessary $3.7 million has been an arduous task, Ball said. "Utah has an unusual business community in that many of our largest employers aren't headquartered here. We've found that those domiciled here have been more inclined to get involved, but it's hard to ask the same people for money over and over again," he explained.

The bid committee was indeed forced to redouble its fund-raising efforts when it was discovered that the original estimate of $2.5 million needed to complete the bid process was some $1.2 million short of the mark.

"Each visit by an International Olympic Committee delegate costs between $15,000 and $20,000," Ball said. "It's so expensive that to many it may be hard to justify, but the payoff is the $1.49 billion financial impact to the state that will result if we're successful."

In an effort to generate additional funds, Ball said, the bid committee has undertaken a new strategy that underlines Salt Lake as America's choice for the

Olympics. Letters have been sent to the chief executive officers of each Fortune 500 company, requesting contributions of $25,000 or more and pointing to the potential benefits of hosting the games in the United States.

So far, the response has been encouraging, Ball said. Bechtel Foundation donated $50,000, and General Electric and several others have requested additional information. And Utah's own business leaders have continued to rally to the Olympic cause.

Services Donated

In addition to cash donations, many companies have donated the time of staff members or other services to be utilized for the duration of the bid process, Ball said. For example, both First Security Bank and Utah Power & Light have made full-time secretaries available to the Bid Committee; Dollar Rent-A-Car has donated cars; and UP&L has donated drivers for use when IOC delegates come to town.

Ian Cumming, president of Leucadia International, has provided the company's corporate jet for transporting IOC members to and from Salt Lake. First Security Bank underwrote production of the Salt Lake City "Bid Book" presented to each IOC member, a top-quality portfolio made from hand-tooled leather reminiscent of a Pony Express saddlebag, Ball said.

Valuable Time

In addition to funds and services donated, Utah's business leaders have contributed what may be even more valuable - their time. "Take Tom Welch (chairman and president of the Salt Lake City Bid Committee), for example," Ball said. "He gave up his position as corporate legal counsel and executive vice president of Smith's Management Corp. to dedicate his full energy to the bid. All for the princely sum of one dollar a year."

Ball and Jack Gallivan, chairman of the board of Kearns-Tribune Corp., are the self-described "water boys" of the Businessmen's Olympic Round Table, a consortium of 16 business leaders organized in March to raise funds. Invitations to join the group were issued by Gallivan along with Jon Huntsman of Huntsman Chemical and First Security Bank's Spence Eccles.

Each member is personally responsible for "giving or getting" at least $100,000, and as Utah Business went to press, the Round Table was just $500,000 short of its objective, according to Gallivan. "We have every confidence that we'll complete our goal by June 15," he said.

The endeavor to bring the Olympics to Utah isn't new to Gallivan. Salt Lake is well into its third decade of bidding to host the Winter Games, and Gallivan has been involved for the past 27 years. In April 1966, the International Olympic Committee chose Sapporo, Japan, over Salt Lake as host for the '72 games, and Gallivan was in Rome when the IOC voted.

"I knew before we even went to Rome we would lose, but I also knew the publicity would bring the world's attention to Salt Lake City. It did, in fact, launch Utah's winter sports industry. I feel we'll be victorious this time around, and that Utah will become known as the Olympic Winter Sports headquarters of the Western world," Gallivan said.

In addition to his fund-raising efforts, Gallivan has personally entertained IOC members at his farm near Park City. "When they (IOC members) come here, we mesmerize them with what Utah has to offer," he observed.

Kennecoth Corp. president and CEO Frank Joklik, another member of the Round Table, has personally raised more than $170,000 in contributions from four local and national firms. Kennecott and its parent company, RTZ Corp., have donated $230,000 to the Olympic cause.

Joklik and his wife Pam, who is a fulltime volunteer for the Bid Committee, have pledged their energies to the effort with an eye toward its ultimate advantages to the state's future. "The long-term benefits of the winter-sports facilities planned as part of the 1998 Olympic Winter Games will benefit our youth well into the next century," Joklik said.

High-Style Hosting

Entertaining IOC members in high style doesn't come cheap, as Frank Welton, general manager of downtown's Red Lion Hotel knows well. The Vancouver, Wash.-based hotel chain, at Welton's urging, has given the Salt Lake City Bid Committee an unlimited expense account for lodging and meals - assistance valued thus far at more than six figures.

"We've virtually given them (the bid committee) an open tab," Welton explained. "We give visiting IOC delegates our nicest suites and pick up the costs for other types of expenses, such as room service and telephone calls."

Welton estimates Red Lion has hosted 90 percent of the IOC members who have come to Salt Lake. "We've offered fine dining, special dinners, breakfast meetings - you name it. As part of our commitment to Salt Lake, we realize it's important that these people not be bounced from hotel. Our CEO, Jerry Best, has been behind the effort from day one," Welton said.

Welton indicated he views the Olympics as the single most important event impacting Utah's future. "Tourism is vital to the state's growth, and this has given us the opportunity to become involved and make a difference," he said.

Bringing IOC members to Salt Lake and arranging for their travel in ultimate comfort has been the goal of Delta Airlines, which has donated well over $300,000 in goods and services. Fred Rollins, district director of marketing for Delta, is a member of the Bid Committee board of trustees and has been instrumental in coordinating its travel needs.

Rollins and another member of Delta's marketing staff serve as liaisons to organize flights both for the bid committee and IOC delegates throughout the world. "We serve 15 countries and 183 cities," Rollins said, "and our goal is to do anything we can to make their trips go as smoothly as possible."

Delta featured a story on the Salt Lake Olympic bid in the April issue of its Sky magazine, which is accessible to some five million readers, and is also bringing a team of international travel writers to Salt Lake in an effort to generate worldwide exposure.

On the home front, Delta has initiated a promotional tie-in with KALL Radio as sponsor of an Olympic update program that will run Tuesday mornings through June 15. Delta will also be sending KALL announcers to Birmingham in June to comment on the proceedings, Rollins said.

"The bid has given us the opportunity to be good corporate citizens in a cause that stands to have tremendous impact on Salt Lake," he notes. "We feel very fortunate to have been involved."

Gastronomy, operator of Salt Lake's Market Street Grill and Oyster Bar, Market Street Broiler, Baci Trattoria, Cafe Pierpont, and the New Yorker restaurant and private club, has thrown its support to the Olympic cause with a credit line dedicated to the entertainment of IOC members.

"We wanted to relieve budget pressures for the bid committee and ease the burden of providing entertainment for the IOC," says Tom Sieg, vice president of Gastronomy and proprietor of the New Yorker. "We've tried to provide a taste of great western foods and Salt Lake fare, from our own western beef and lamb to fresh Utah mountain trout."

Sieg has been involved with efforts on a corporate level and a personal one, having hosted IOC members in his own home on three separate occasions. He'll also be traveling to Birmingham in June along with eight other members of Gastronomy's team to provide further support. "There's no question we all stand to benefit," he said.

Based in Salt Lake City, Teresa Browning-Hess Hess writes on business topics.

PHOTO : Fred Ball, president of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce

PHOTO : Jack Gallivan, chairman of the board of the Kearns Tribune Corp.

PHOTO : Frank Joklik, ECEO of Kennecott Corp.

PHOTO : Frank Welton, general manager of the downtown Red Lion Hotel

PHOTO : Fred Rollins, district director of marketing for Delta Airlines

PHOTO : Tom Sieg, vice president, Gastronomy Inc.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Olympus Publishing Co.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:site bid for the 1998 Winter Olympics
Author:Browning-Hess, Teresa
Publication:Utah Business
Date:Jun 1, 1991
Previous Article:A bid for the future: Salt Lake City goes for the gold.
Next Article:Restaurant tax to fund tourism: $8 million projected.

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