Denver and Reno-Tahoe showed enthusiasm for holding the next available Winter Olympics, in 2020, until the USOC decided to let that opportunity pass. The USOC said it was regrouping to resolve a long-running feud with the IOC about revenue sharing.
A USOC panel is looking at whether to bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics or the 2026 Winter Games, and could decide to go for the more glamorous summer games. The panel is set to make a recommendation later this month. The U.S. hasn't hosted any games since the Utah Olympics, and hasn't hosted a Summer Olympics since 1996 in Atlanta.
"Make no mistake, we do want to bid, and we do want to win," USOC chairman Larry Probst told an annual assembly of sports federations in September. "But we will only bid if the business logic is as compelling as the sports logic."
Nevada is biding its time on a 2026 bid.
"Good for Salt Lake. We commend any competition to host the next Winter Olympic Games in North America," said Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, who is involved in a coalition hoping to bring back the Winter Games, which were last held in Nevada in 1960 at Squaw Valley.
The USOC, however, has "not called for any interested cities to submit bids for 2026," Krolicki said. "We'll wait for those instructions before making any kind of announcement."
The Reno-Tahoe Winter Games Coalition is pursuing other international winter sporting events as a prelude to the Winter Games, and will hold the 2014 Continental Cup of Curling in Las Vegas.
USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said the organization had no comment Monday on the viability of Salt Lake or any other candidates.
Salt Lake wouldn't be the first city awarded a second Winter Olympics. The list includes Lake Placid, N.Y. (1932 and 1980); St. Moritz, Switzerland (1928 and 1948); and Innsbruck, Austria (1964 and 1976).
The Summer Games have revisited Athens (1896 and 2004); Paris (1900 and 1924); Los Angeles (1932 and 1984), and London, the only city to hold the Summer Games three times (1908, 1948 and 2012.)
Associated Press writers Eddie Pells in Denver and Sandra Chereb in Carson City, Nev., contributed to this report.