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Group Dreams of Tahoe Olympics

February 25, 2002

RENO, Nev. (AP) _ Forty-two years ago, Squaw Valley USA owner Alex Cushing realized his dream by wooing the Winter Olympics to his towering California mountain.

Now, a Reno-area group is talking the same dream _ possibly as soon as 2014 but more likely for 2018.

``We’re still very early in the process,″ Jerry Cail of Sparks said. ``Right now it’s in the talking stages, if you will, the bomb-dropping stages.″

Despite skeptics, Cail said feedback has been good since the idea was broached in May as another way to brand Reno-Tahoe as a world-class sports destination.

Jim Vanden Heuvel of Sparks thinks chances are better than 50-50 that local organizers will conduct a feasibility study this year on bidding for the games, looking into venue sites and estimating costs. He hopes that study, likely to cost as much as $125,000, and a letter of intent to bid will be presented to the U.S. Olympic Committee at its meeting in 13 months.

He also hopes to revive the Reno-Tahoe Organizing Committee, which bid for the games in the 1980s, but lost out to Salt Lake City.

Vanden Heuvel visited Salt Lake City during the Olympics for a behind-the-scenes look at operations.

He said 2018 looks more likely since Vancouver, British Columbia, appears a front-runner for 2010 and the Olympics aren’t likely to return to North America just four years later. They go to Turin, Italy, in 2006.

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