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EVANSTON HOPES TO CAPITALIZE ON GAMES

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Evanston's mayor is looking for some help in figuring out how to capitalize on the 2002 Winter Olympics to be held in nearby Salt Lake City.

Mayor Will Davis has scheduled a public meeting for Feb. 29 to discuss the topic with anyone interested."It is my hope that everyone who wants to be involved, has an idea that we should pursue or is just interested in getting a better idea of what impact we can expect will be in attendance," he said.

Davis said he expects a number of people to visit Evanston during and before the Olympics, and he added much needs to be done to prepare for the influx of tourists.

"People all over the world are going to be looking for places to stay, activities to participate in and transportation routes to the Olympic Games," he said.

"Many of them will make a trip before the Olympics to check out the facilities for themselves. We need to plan now for their pre-visits, their Olympic stay and the post-visits and activities that they will be looking for. We can't afford to miss this opportunity to get Evanston in front of the entire world."

Wyoming isn't the only Western state hoping to lure Utah's Olympic visitors. Idaho tourism officials, who'll begin advertising their state on Utah television stations next month, are also predicting benefits from the Olympics.

The Evanston mayor said that some of the biggest challenges will occur in defining the roles that the public and private sectors will play in the preparation.

Davis added that several partnerships between the public and private sectors could be created to handle arrangements, and he said the community will have to solicit state support to prepare for the event.

"Hopefully, the state will respond and recognize that money that is spent in southwestern Wyoming will benefit the entire state," he said.