Denver has many facilities in place and has improved its international reputation over the past several years. The high-profile, international SportAccord meetings held in Quebec City last week took place in Denver in 2009, and the city got good reviews.
Denver remains, however, the only city to be awarded an Olympics then give them back. The 1976 Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria, were originally slated for the Mile High City. Denver voters chose to give them back because of concerns over cost, urban sprawl and pollution.
"You could take the safe route and go with Denver, but that issue is still there and it will be used whether they think it will or not," one of the people familiar with the process said. "Americans have come a long way since then. But they need to be watertight with the city they pick. To have an exposure like that, I'm not saying it's a fatal flaw, but it's a weakness that will be exposed because there still a perception, right or wrong, that the United States is only in it for the money."