In checking the Vancouver 2010 web site I was happy to read Vancouver and Whistler have been declared “ready to host the world in 23 days” by the VANOC Board of Directors. The full statement can be read here.
This is very reassuring, since the world is descending, whether Vancouver & Whistler are ready, or not. There have been a few issues of concern of late. Most notable has been the lack of snowfall in the region. This has caused organizers to move to “Plan B” ~ trucking in snow for the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events at Cypress Mountain, on Vancouver’s North Shore. The ski areas at Cypress were closed on January 13th, a move organizers hope will help preserve the existing base of snow, while allowing them time to add new, machine-made snow.
Yesterday, it was reported that “lenders for Intrawest, owner of Whistler Blackcomb, have moved to auction off the assets of Intrawest ULC., including the B.C. ski resort that will be home to the Olympic downhill races next month. Dan Doyle, VANOC’s executive vice-president of construction, said the venues in Whistler are ready. “It doesn’t make very good business sense for people to put them out of business at the time of the year when they’re making their most earnings,” he said.” Mr. Doyle certainly knows of what he speaks. If you were interested in visiting Whistler Blackcomb this month accommodations will run between $130.50 and about $600.00 per night, depending on the style of accommodation you require. In looking at the same style of accommodations between February 11th and 28th, the run of the Olympics, rates spike to between $997.82 and $3600.00 or more per night. Whoa! That is clearly worse than $10 popcorn at the movies. When I searched for rates during the Olympics, there were only 7 options available to me. In the month of January, there were 112 options. Lenders would be wise to wait until March then reevaluate circumstances while Intrawest counts the dough they will be rolling in from February’s influx of Olympic fans, athletes, and support staff!