Dang. I'm just going back over this thread and got all charged up about Reno.
(My answer to that base question: it IS an armpit. I have ex-in-laws there as good reasons I'd never want to live there OR Vegas. However, it's also a damn good fixer-upper opportunity. An award brings attention to that place and gets everyone to spruce up. If the state would think "hey, Lawlor needs to be replaced by then and Mackey updated" and a few other things fall into place, there's worse ideas. However, counting on that in Nevada... not holding my breath.)
If the IOC gets antsy that USA is losing the Olympic spirit, and 2024 doesn't happen, I think there's bids for 2026 out of expedience and necessity to just win one. If it's Salt Lake again, it can win if the current trend holds... my suspicion is that the Olympic movement is in no condition to complain about "going back again" when bids seem scarce. Naturally, that can all change in the blink of an eye.
I've also got a gut feeling that you keep bidding, even if you figure you'll lose the next few bids. That's keeping the movement in the news and keeping cities interested. The real danger here is a public tidal wave against these projects anywhere. It sounds like something you wait out, but in this case, I think not fighting back causes more problems than it solves (or maybe I'm a fan of the counter-intuitive, you may judge).