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BID PROMOTERS URGED TO ALSO OUTLINE RISKS

Salt Lake's Olympic bid promoters aren't playing the game fairly if they sugarcoat bid prospects without laying out the worst-case scenario as well, said Utah industrial- ist Jon Huntsman on Tuesday.

Huntsman told the Salt Lake Rotary Club that looking at the worst-case scenario when planning a business acquisition is a key to the success of his multibillion-dollar network of chemical businesses. He compared that stream of business success with Salt Lake's bid for the 2002 Winter Olympics."I get upset sometimes when I see governments, when I see businesses that have an obligation to shareholders, or when I even see our own Olympics, where we sugarcoat what we should be telling the public," he said.

The state Office of Planning and Budget estimates the Olympics will bring 20,000 jobs, $108 million in increased tax revenues and an economic benefit of $1.7 billion. Even without the Olympics, Gov. Mike Leavitt said in August he has a longer-term agenda to make Utah a winter sports capital.

"All businesses - all businesses - have the opportunity to lose money. We must be straightforward. We must analyze those risks carefully. We must point out to the public what those risks are, and we must lay our cards squarely on the table," Huntsman said.

Salt Lake Olympic Bid Committee President Tom Welch told the Deseret News Wednesday he has no argument with Huntsman's critique but sees the bid committee in a Catch-22.

"We're caught in the midst of running an international political campaign against nine cities. We have to be talking about our strengths and focusing on that," Welch said. "You don't see the governor of the state come out with his budget until the election is over."

The International Olympic Committee will announce the winning city for the 2002 Winter Olympics in June. If Salt Lake City wins the bid, "We'll create a much more business atmosphere," Welch said. "That is a little bit unfortunate, but that's the way that it is."

Welch said he and Huntsman talked after the Rotary speech and have plans to talk again. "Jon's comments were appropriate. He has not had an opportunity to see our business plan and he has agreed to do that."