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Keith McCord reportingAnd we thought the 2002 Olympic Winter Games ended when the cauldron was extinguished a year and a half ago. Actually, it wrapped up today, at least as far as SLOC is concerned.
As we all know, it cost a lot of money to host Olympics--1.45-billion to be exact. And even when the games ended, there were still many bills to take care of. Today, the final check was written!
And it was a big check-- in dollars and in size: 31-million 585 thousand dollars! SLOC President Fraser Bullock presented it to Governor Leavitt and U. President Bernie Machen.
Fraser Bullock: "THIS IS REALLY ONE OF OUR FINAL ENDEAVORS AS THE SALT LAKE ORGANIZING COMMITTEE TO PAY OFF ONE OF OUR BIGGEST OBLIGATIONS, AND WE'RE ABLE TO DO SO TWO YEARS EARLY!"
Today's pay-off presentation took place at the former Olympic Village.
This money pays off the bonds that were used to build and refurbish the buildings, which housed the 24-hundred athletes during the games.
Governor Leavitt: "TODAY IS THE FINAL INSTALLMENT OF THE GIFT THAT HAS JUST KEPT ON GIVING AND WILL CONTINUE TO.. FOR GENERATIONS IN THE FUTURE, STUDENTS WILL ENJOY THIS HOUSING, AND IT WILL CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR EDUCATION."
SLOC has paid the State of Utah 140-million dollars, to pay back Olympic bills.
--Last June, SLOC paid off 8-million for the rental and upgrade to the Olympic Stadium;
--In May of 2002, a check for 99-million was written for the Olympic Park and Oval;
-- And 40-million went to the Utah Athletic Foundation.
"IT WAS OUR COMMITTMENT TO OPERATE THE OLYMPIC GAMES ON AVAILABLE OLYMPIC REVENUES. THERE WERE TIMES WHEN MANY DOUBTED THAT WOULD OCCUR."
But, it did. And there was 100-million dollars left over!
Part of that is being used now, for the construction of the Olympic Cauldron Plaza. Construction is on schedule and on budget. It'll open in late August.
Fraser Bullock: "THERE WILL BE A BIG CELEBRATION FOR EVERYBODY. WILL HAVE THE VISITOR CENTER DONE, THE THEATRE DONE, WE'LL BE ABLE TO PREMIER OUR FILM... EVERYONE IS EXCITED ABOUT IT, A FILM OF THE GAMES .... SO WE'LL HAVE A BIG PARTY."
And they'll probably fire up the cauldron again!