On Thursday, the public got an update from the Exploratory Committee looking into if the Olympics and Paralympics should be brought to Colorado.
They addressed a public survey, that includes asking what people thought about Olympic athlete housing eventually turning into affordable housing and changes to Interstate 70.
Thursday the committee admitted that some of those questions needed to be rephrased.
“After we got the feedback we went back and looked at it. We went to another third party firm who did feel like some of the questions were misleading or lead in a certain way, so we changed the survey,” said Exploratory Committee Chair Robert Cohen.
That was after around 2,000 people filled it out.
“We didn't want to throw it out and completely start over we made some edits and changes to it,” said Cohen.
Since then more than 4,000 more people filled out the survey, according to Cohen. He also addressed why the survey doesn’t ask this particular question:
“There are concern we are not asking thumps up or thumbs down but the issue is we don't even know what we are proposing or recommending yet ,” said Cohen, who added the committee members' views on whether the games should come to Colorado are as varied as the public’s opinions.
The Colorado Latino Forum is clear about their worries:
“The priorities for Denver shouldn't be hosting the Olympics,” said Miguel Cevallos.
He also dismissed the possibility of more affordable housing.
“If we need affordable housing we can get affordable housing without the Olympics,” he said.
That's also what the committee said about changes to I-70. The chair said the games could be a catalyst for improvements relying on federal dollars and other funding sources, instead of relying on local tax dollars.
“I'm not saying it's ideal or perfect, I'm saying it's a 17-day event and certainly the interstate would accommodate that,” Cohen said.
As for the budget, he added the committee’s biggest concern is financing the games privately outside of the International Olympic Committee money so tax dollars aren't going towards the operating budget.
“You can’t say this would be hundred percent done without taxpayers money," he said. "You can’t say a Broncos game played on a Sunday is done a hundred percent without tax payer money because there is police, fire department, using the roads. Many of the events Rockies, Aves, Nuggets, all of them utilize public facilities so will the Olympics.”
The committee’s recommendation deadline is extended into April and May as they are now focusing on a 2030 bid. The community response is due by March 3rd and there is an online seminar this Saturday.