Shocking, right? Actually, not really–it’s tough to find anyone who experienced the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City to say something negative about the experience for Salt Lake City and the state. But the latest poll from the Utah Business Sentiment Survey, conducted by the David Eccles School of Business in partnership with pollster Dan Jones & Associates delivers the hard data to back up Utah’s fond memories, and the idea that the state’s residents would like to host the Games again.

Results of the recent statewide poll indicate that 12 years after hosting the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, and on the eve of the Sochi, Russia, Olympic Games, 92 percent of Utahns believe the state benefited from hosting the games in 2002, and 82 percent support making a bid to host the games in the future.

Conducted from January 23 to January 25, the survey shows strong public backing for a future bid, possibly in 2026. Moreover, the poll results appear to be consistent with the direction of Utah’s leadership—the Utah Olympic Exploratory Committee, under the guidance of Governor Gary Herbert, has unanimously recommended that Salt Lake City pursue a bid in 2026, should the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) submit a bid.

“Residents can see what Utah gained from hosting in 2002,” commented Dr. Dan Jones. “The Games spurred the development of Utah’s infrastructure. We have Olympic-ready facilities along the Wasatch Front, and positive media exposure has bolstered tourism growth and the overall state economy.”

The data comes from the inaugural monthly survey launched by Dan Jones & Associates and the David Eccles School of Business. The Utah Business Sentiment Survey provides a monthly indication of business conditions, policy preferences and current issues facing the state of Utah. The most recent survey was completed by 1,622 Utahns. It focused on the public perceptions of the benefits of Utah hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics and support of Utah making a bid to host a future Winter Olympics. Here are the results:


 Benefit and Support of Hosting the Winter Olympics

To what degree has Utah benefited from hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics?

Answer (%)

Strongly benefited