About 20,000 Olympic tickets will be made available exclusively to residents of the Sea to Sky corridor.
"We are really excited about it," said Caley Denton, vice president of ticketing and consumer marketing for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Games (VANOC).
"We have had a lot of requests from the Sea to Sky corridor ever since our first phase and we know this will go a long way to achieving the needs of the locals in the corridor."
All tickets will be to events at the Whistler venues: Creekside for the alpine skiing competitions, the Whistler Sliding Centre, Whistler Olympic Park, home of the Nordic events, and the Whistler Medals Plaza.
Apart from satisfying the desire of residents to get more access to events for themselves as well as family and friends, the decision was made to offer the exclusive tickets to minimize empty spectator spots at Games time.
The Olympic Bus Network (OBN), the transport system for spectators originating in Metro Vancouver, has already reached maximum capacity with current ticket sales and could not carry more people to Whistler.
"We are basically at capacity on our (Whistler) transportation mall," said Terry Wright, VANOC's executive vice president services and Games operations. "But we have the (transit) capacity throughout the region and throughout Whistler to really handle Christmas sized crowds... so we want to make sure that we get a return on the investment that we made..."
The program is also open to second homeowners in the corridor. All they need is a corridor postal code.
The tickets will not be able to be resold on the fan-to-fan website VANOC is developing.
Purchasers must pick up the tickets themselves at a ticket office to be opened mid-November in Whistler.
The tickets cannot be used to access the OBN.
Each ticket package sold by pre-registration comes with two tickets to the highly sought after medals plaza celebrations.
These celebration tickets are not yet available, though they will be free.
More than 100,000 tickets to city events will also be released in the upcoming Phase 3 of tickets sales.
"For those living outside of the Squamish-to-Mount Currie region it is time to start planning for our last phase of Canadian market tickets sales starting Nov. 7," said Denton.
To get local's tickets residents must:
• register a new account or edit existing account information prior to Oct. 23 at 7 p.m.
• Tickets will be available to purchase beginning Oct. 24 at 10 a.m. and will remain on sale while tickets last or until Oct. 25 at 5 p.m.
For more information go to www.vancouver2010.com .