Arghhh Matey, September 19th be the international Talk like a Pirate day. Celebrate ye Pirate toungue by renting a boat at Granville Island Boat rentals. Theyz gots lots of Pirate gear thar too Matey. Ya, ok, I'm having a bugger of a time keeping that one up. Check out GIBR, the westcoast pirate at and TALK LIKE A PIRATE IN VANCOUVER

Friday, February 5, 2010

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games - A view from the Inside Out

With the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic games days away local Vancouver 2010 Organizers (VANOC) are doing a great job of showing their poker face. With the Weather in the Metro Vancouver region at season highs, VANOC is trying their best to ensure the games go off without a hitch.

From high security road closures to trucking in snow from not so nearby Manning Park, the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Organizing committee has their hands in so many pots, it is hard to keep track of all the money flowing from the rapidly diminishing Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games coffers.

From day one, the reaction to Vancouver winning the 201o Winter Olympic Games bid have been mixed. Being fairly split in the political spectrum, the left side has argued against what they call wasteful government spending while the right has been anxiously awaiting the promise “Big Olympic Payout” for local business and Industry.
Although one can definitely argue for the positive effects on the construction industry, the left also has an equal amount of ammunition in the increase in the Cost of Living in an already expensive region to live and work in. Add to that the ever billowing cost overruns the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games may well go down in History as the biggest flop.

Now for what is on everyone’s mind, the lack of snow in Metro Vancouver, particularly the North Shore Mountains and Cypress Bowl (The location for the Freestyle ski competitions.) To get a picture of the seriousness of the weather one need simply look at the 7 day forecast for the Vancouver region. With predicted highs around 8 or 9 degree’s Celsius (Well above freezing) and lows only getting down to 3 Degrees Celsius (Still above freezing). The very slim possibility of precipitation will at most be a spring rain with lots of mud for the skier’s to slide down.

Of Course, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games organizing committee is doing their best to limit the damage of the warmer weather and muddy hills by trucking in hundreds of truckloads of snow from not so nearby Manning Park. This combined with the constantly running snowmakers is eating a very big hole in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games contingency fund.

Add to this, lower than expected accommodation bookings and the promised boost to the Vancouver tourism industry may very well be a flash in the pan. Of course the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games Organizing committee still has the income from over priced poorly made souvenir trinkets (Made in China) to fall back on. Seriously, I checked out one of the local Trinket barns at the local Bay to find pins which cost a maximum of 2 cents to make going for anywhere from $10 to $30. The clincher was a “Collectors edition” Teddy bear which was going for close to $300. With prices like that and the lack of availability of tickets for locals to attend the games, one has to wonder “What is in it for us?”

There are, however, some local businesses hoping to make a few extra dollars off the event. Steve, the owner of Granville Island Boat Rentals, for example, has just put a 12 passenger covered and heated boat into the water hoping to ease the pain of commuters having to make the trek through the heavily restricted roadways of Vancouver. Having felt the brunt of the drop in consumer spending and European tourism, Steve is hoping his investment will pan out. For those interested, Granville Island Boat Rentals is located right below Bridges Restaurant and close to Granville Island market.

Mario, of Mario’s Gelati (A local favorite for fans of high quality Italian Ice Cream) is not counting on any substantial boosts to his business. Being in the “Red Zone” just doors away from the Olympic Village, Mario has found himself behind an iron curtain of sorts. Surrounded by wire fence, Mario is hopeful the Vancouver 2010 Organizers will continue to leave a pathway to his retail outlet as well as his Shipping bays. Failing that, the Organizers of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games will not only cut visitors and athletes off from Mario’s delicious Italian Gelato, the will also effectively be cutting off a supply chain to many local restaurants who rely on the Daily delivery of fresh Italian Gelato.

On the other side of the coin, the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games Organizing committee, along with local governments, have gone through substantial lengths to ensure locals and visitors alike have plenty of opportunities to take in on the festivities of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. With many free things to do during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games (Aside from hunting down Vancouver 2010 Olympic Events Ticket Scalpers) it is hoped the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games will be a positive and memorable experience for locals and visitors alike.
Labeled the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad events are being held any many local parks with the hope of calming the protests and creating a fun and memorable experience for locals to remember for the years to come as they continue to pay off the massive debt created by VANOC. For a list of Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad events, check out the VANOC site.

Protesters and critics of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games alike are joining in the festivities by creating several events of their own. Look for them at various Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic events. They will be easily recognizable by their placards declaring a lack of support for the homeless and unemployed as well as various Social housing and Free Heroin for junkies related causes. Be careful not to follow these protesters too closely unless you like the feeling of a Police Taser gun or a rubber truncheon up your backside.

Here are some more pictures of the road to Cyprus Bowl the site of the Free Style Mud skiing competition. The security chicks had me stopped about 3/4 of the way up. I was hoping to catch a picture of one of the snow dump trucks, but they were gone for the day.