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Park City folks brainstorm for Olympic party

PARK CITY -- They came to help turn Park City into Party Hearty City and get its groove thing going for the 2002 Fun 'n' Winter Games.

An estimated 200 townsfolk filled every nook and cranny of a Yarrow Hotel ballroom Tuesday night, jamming their craniums with eurekas in a community brainstorming session billed as the Park City Olympic Celebrations Roundtable.City Council member Peg Bodell eyed the crowd, beaming.

"We were holding our breath for 150. We're full up," said Bodell, a 22-year Park City resident and local artist. "We're looking for people with passion who can drive other people and see these things through to the end."

At the end of the session, organizers were to select a nine-person Olympic Celebrations Steering Committee.

"I look out and see a broad cross-section of the town. The good news is they're not all the usual suspects," Bodell said. "We want some new people who can bring fresh ideas to the table."

That seemed to be happening as the gathering separated into 8-to-10 person subgroups discussing such areas as transportation, youths, performances, visual arts, hospitality, historic, athletic/sports and ethnic culture.

"I'm heartened," said Margie Hensley, 11-year chamber of commerce membership director, strolling among tables to eavesdrop. "Look at them. They're animated. The discussions are lively."

"I came because I'm excited to be on the ground level," said Tamara Lindsay, who works in the city finance department but was there more as a resident and mother of Alex, 10, and Jordan, 5. "I just want our family to be involved in a once-in-a-lifetime community opportunity."

"There's no monopoly on ideas. I wanted to see what popped up," said Wendy Gray-Bizzaro, who raises horses with her husband, Richard, in the meadowlands of Snyderville Basin. "Oh, wait! One's just popping up just now!

"How about synchronized skiing -- you know, music and a laser show on the mountain? Like they do the synchronized swimming thing in the Summer Olympics, only translated to our setting?"

It became an idea advanced by her table -- each of the 20 groups was allowed to put up three.

"We want our efforts to be compatible with what SLOC is doing," said Myles Rademan, Park City's public affairs and Olympic services director. "We want to avoid the purple turkey feathers and rubber tomahawks sold out of the back of somebody's trunk like Atlanta. We want people going, 'Look, that's really great -- and it looks like some thought went into it.' "

Ideas flowed freely as subgroup leaders reported in.

"Magic moments. Nightly parades, each with different themes," said Art Roscoe.

"A youth center, hosted by kids of Summit and Wasatch counties, inviting children from all over to join them," said Tevy Vetter.

"Historic buses, with people in costumes talking to them about local history. Turn Main Street into a theater -- gunfights and so on," said Sandra Morrison.

"At the legacy park, a prayer pole, where people can come and pray for world peace," said Bill Holbrook.

"Residents wearing 'Welcome, Ask Me' buttons with a question mark and beer mug, to explain local liquor laws," said Linda Hollinshead. "Also, write a Park City song and play it over and over. Warming cold people at bus stops with hot chocolate and Rice Krispie squares."

"Street parties and dances on Main Street every night," said Dick Roth, a 1964 swimming gold medalist.

"Bonfires to draw people to activities," said Lisa Silva-Ward. "We've got 33 Olympians living in Park City. A Park City Welcomes the World event hosted by them."

"A Jumbotron," groups said repeatedly.

Rodeos. Native American centers. A mountain-man rendezvous. Decorative flags on streets and houses. Banners depicting local youth art.

"Dogs with miner's caps," said city attorney Mark Harrington.

An idea of which it truly may be said: Not something you see every Olympics.

But that was the point.

"I think we've heard great ideas that are uniquely Park City," said Mayor Brad Olch. "It's been a really good night, and I think everyone should be proud of our city."