Councillors impressed by Salt Lake Games, but feel Whistler could do better 

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"Some other ski areas in the area said their business has been down all winter.

"There was a lot of speculation going on. Leases were bought out. People put their houses up for rent and they lost money.

"People did loose money down there so we need to be very aware of the pros and cons and making sure that we give spectators the opportunity to get into the village and yet not overwhelm it to the point where nobody can move around."

Melamed also paid particular attention to the environmental and sustainable aspects of the Salt Lake Games. He wasn?t impressed.

"I know sustainability is a pillar of the IOC," said Melamed.

"But when you go down (to Salt Lake) you don?t get a sense that they are really all that committed to it.

"Transportation is going to be huge, energy issues will be huge, waste issues will be very big so it will be a huge challenge.

"But again I think we are a better place to do that because we already have that sensitivity going onto the Games as part of our guiding principles.

"I think the Americans paid lip service to it and the IOC let them get away with it.

"We have to ensure that if we do it, it is not tokenism and that it is real. The Bid Corp is reluctant to name (the 2010 bid) as the Sustainability Games but as a councillor for Whistler I am very much committed to that as a goal."

Melamed is also committed to the idea of downsizing for the 2010 Games. Most venues in Whistler for the 2010 Games are set to accommodate up to 15,000 spectators; that?s half the number at many of the Alpine events at Snow Basin.

Said Melamed: "We are going to downscale the Games and I came away with renewed commitment for that vision."

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