This week we are exactly a year away from the start of the 2010 winter Olympics. This is not something you can ignore if you are in Vancouver, or even British Columbia.
I expect that you, as someone interested in coming to BC, know about this. I wonder how much the rest of the world knows? It certainly is used as an excuse for a great deal that goes on here.
For example, the Olympics have meant spending our tax dollars (Federal and Provincial) on big infrastructure projects such as upgrading the sea to sky highway that links Vancouver and Whistler. This will allow the hordes of visitors to travel safely between venues in Whistler and Vancouver.
Or the Canada Line, which will whisk visitors from the airport to downtown Vancouver.
I am not complaining about these developments. Far from it. Both bring lasting benefits to Vancouver in terms of improved transit links. The Canada Line will be used by commuters on a daily basis and not just from YVR. And of course those who want to visit Whistler can now expect a safer and quicker journey.
The Richmond speed skating rink is already open and will be well used too. Cypress Mountain on the north shore is another olympic venue where the facilities have been upgraded. Whenever we ski or ride up there we can thank the Olympics for their contribution to our mountain.
Another Olympic highlight is one that is not available to us all, but there seems to be a potential goldmine out there in terms of renting your home during the Olympics. We know of several cases where people have rented their homes for the golden 2 week period for several thousand dollars. One family has rented their home to the Swedish ski team (or some of it at least) for $30,000.
Anywhere with space available may well be up for grabs. I have heard that one of the local yacht clubs, and at least one restaurant will be rented out as meeting places for Olympic teams. Staff will be on paid leave and the venues will be compensated handsomely for their loss of revenue.
Seems like money will be pouring into the area doesn’t it? Perhaps not so. Pretty much everyone who is doing this kind of thing will be heading off to Mexico or Hawaii and spending their money there!