Host mountain resort prepared for 2010 Olympics, if not exactly ready

The Canadian Press ~ The News
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

WHISTLER, B.C. Love may move mountains, but the Olympics dont have that kind of clout.

So if B.C. was going to host a Winter Games, there was no question the village of Whistler had to play a role.

During 2010, organizers hope its snowcapped peaks and cobblestone streets will provide an intimate, fireside feel for the Olympics.

One year out, the host mountain resort appears equipped to handle the job.

We can provide the service, for the volume of people that are going to be here, we can do it, said Chris Quinlan, a village councillor and president of the Restaurant Association of Whistler.

But are they ready?

On the sports side of the Olympics, the answer is a resounding yes.

The venues are built and are being tested in nine World Cup events this winter.

We used to have one event, wed freak out, said Quinlan. Not anymore.

But on the life side of the Games, theyre not as relaxed.

Theres no finalized transportation, security or accommodation plan yet to give the villages 9,200 permanent residents a sense of how their lives will change in 2010.

Many are banking on cashing in on the tight accommodations and thats become part of a problem.

The cliche in town is (finding) the deal that pays for my sons college education, said Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed of rampant speculation about real estate rental prices.

Money is a sore point for the village and the Olympic committee.

The committee is cutting $5 million from its budget by cancelling a plan to award medals at nightly ceremonies in Whistler.

A grove of trees was razed to build a $13.6-million plaza primarily on the promise of the medal ceremonies but it will now be used just for celebrations and later as a community gathering place.

We have got to ensure that we get what we were promised when we signed on for this thing, said village councillor Grant Lamont.

With a fixed deadline looming, theres no choice but for the details to work themselves out, said Melamed.

Dealing with what comes after will be the hard part.

At the end of March (2010), we have to deal with getting back to a new normal, he said.

The Olympics take up a lot of space.

Organizations: Restaurant Association of Whistler, Olympic committee

Geographic location: WHISTLER

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page