February 09, 2007 Features & Images » Feature Story

Enroute to 2010 

What's the game plan? Are we ready for 2010? Pique Newsmagazine pounds the pavement to find out what's been done and what's still left to do.

"Their needs are based on location, location, location." VANOC's Nejat Sarp on finding room for 1,700 accredited media during 2010. Photo by Bonny Makarewicz
  • "Their needs are based on location, location, location." VANOC's Nejat Sarp
    on finding room for 1,700 accredited media during 2010. Photo by
    Bonny Makarewicz

Page 4 of 33

“We want to help try and make sure that people are educated and that the Games are a success for everybody,” said Thomas, who has hosted several Olympic related clients in Whistler already to explain the various accommodation locations and available services.

“(VIP Mountain Holidays) in the business of offering hassle-free experiences in Whistler and similarly we want to offer a hassle-free experience for all Olympic clients so they come back. That is the key here. The success from the Olympics for Whistler is that everyone who comes has a good time, is able to find reasonably priced accommodation, and enjoys themselves so they come back.”

That’s a sentiment echoed by Joe Weiler, president and an owner of Aloha Whistler Accommodations, which has been in business for 27 years.

“Our perspective is that we are not looking at 2010,” he said.

“We are looking at a much bigger opportunity for the resort that will go well past 2010 and what we don’t want is to have this sense that there is an attempt to gouge the guest coming to the Olympics because we are looking at 2010 in a sense to be a launch into a whole bigger global market for our product.

“In (the condo owners) calculations there are always two things: what is the commercial opportunity to them, and number two, is it sufficient that they would then give up their own use of their property.”

Weiler, who described himself as part of the “home-team” for the Games, would not comment on VANOC’s compensation formula.

“These are on-going discussions and I can’t comment on that,” he said.

“They are very private but (VANOC) is becoming more knowledgeable about what the market is and helping us to lubricate our conversations with our owners as part of getting to yes. VANOC is very sensitive to what our issues are as well.”

Weiler, who has been in discussions with Vanoc, is committed to finding suitable housing for the media.

“We need to help to solve (VANOC’s) challenge to find a place at the inn for the world’s media,” he said.

“They, in a sense, are going to be our window into the world. It is a once in a generation opportunity to do that.”

The focus for condo owners, he said, has to be on the long term and the advantages they will see from making sure those who come to experience the Games not only have good accommodation but outstanding service.

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