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This paper provides an empirical examination of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. This analysis of taxable sales in the counties in which Olympic events took place finds that some sectors such as hotels and restaurants prospered while other retailers such as general merchandisers and department stores suffered. Overall the gains in the hospitality industry are lower than the losses experienced by other sectors in the economy. Given the experience of Utah, potential Olympic hosts should exercise caution before proceeding down the slippery slope of bidding for this event.
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