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Olympic Legacy Pays Dividends to Salt Lake

Published: 02/07/2007

Reflecting on the five-year anniversary of the XIX Olympic Winter Games February 8-24, 2002, Salt Lake continues to reap the benefits of hosting the world and presenting itself on the global stage.

Salt Lake introduced itself and welcomed the world in 2002, and the world has returned time and again to experience all this mountain metropolis has to offer, from the world-class skiing and outdoor recreation available to the plethora of dining and nightlife options, from a thriving cultural arts scene to the accessibility of countless national and state parks. According to the Utah Office of Tourism, an estimated 19.3 million people visited Utah in 2006 compared to 17.3 million in 2002, an increase of nearly 12 percent. In just the last two years, Utah saw a 12.1 percent increase in hotel tax revenue and over $5.8 billion spent by tourists.

The Salt Palace Convention Center, which housed the Main Media Center for the 2002 Winter Olympics and welcomed more than 9,000 journalists from 59 countries during those 17 magical days, recently underwent a $58 million expansion and now boasts 679,000 square feet of exhibit and meeting space. Since 2001, conventions headquartered at the Salt Palace have substantially increased in all aspects, including attendance (up 63%), room nights (up 12%) and economic impact (up 76%).*

The Salt Lake CVB's Ski Salt Lake program, combining the four world-class resorts of Alta, Brighton, Snowbird and Solitude, has seen dramatic increases as well. The convenient Ski Salt Lake Super Pass, which allows visitors to ski a different Ski Salt Lake resort every day during their stay in Salt Lake, has experienced a massive 898 percent increase over the past five years.**

The Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, non-profit corporation responsible for the promotion of Salt Lake as the foremost convention and travel destination, a unique combination of metro and mountain whose Wasatch Mountains offer a dramatic backdrop to the vibrancy of downtown. Having recently undergone a $58 million expansion, the Salt Palace Convention Center now boasts 679,000 square feet of exhibit and meeting space, ideal for groups of all sizes and needs. For more information on all that Salt Lake has to offer, visit

* Convention figures: 2001 – 2005 (2005 SLCVB Annual Report)

** Ski Salt Lake Super Pass figures based on 2001-02 vs. 2005-06 ski seasons (SLCVB)