IOC evaluation report leads to changes in Whistler 

New temporary media village will free up hotel rooms in village

A village for 1,500 will be built at Cheakamus North above the landfill if Whistler and Vancouver win the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

The temporary accommodation, which will house media during the Olympics, is being put in place in response to comments made by the International Olympic Committee’s evaluation commission visit and report.

During the evaluation visit in March team members said they thought travelling between Vancouver and Whistler everyday for the media was "too far."

They also suggested that some members of the IOC family and sponsors may wish to spend longer in the resort than the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation had assumed, which would be difficult considering the limited number of rooms available.

Creating a village for the media solves both those problems said Terry Wright, vice-president of bid development for the bid corp.

"By putting the media village in it does two things," said Wright.

"It means the media can live and work in Whistler full-time throughout the course of the visit and it frees up some of the accommodation we do have booked in the village so we can provide more Olympic sponsor and national Olympic committee and rights holder and VIP accommodation.

"This is, frankly, a good thing for the resort because we are going to be able to put more of the traditional resort type customer into the resort during the Olympics.

"They are the ones that spend money and need services and want other experiences and will ski, so I think that is very positive."

Available accommodation is being added all the time to the 2010 list. Wright said 400 hotel rooms have been added since the last report. In total there are 7,400 rooms available in Whistler, of which up to 3,500 will be temporary rooms in the athletes and media villages.

The media village will be made up of rented block trailers.

It definitely won’t be glamorous but it will do the trick. Other amenities will also be placed at the site, such as a dinning hall and the whole complex will be hooked up to water and sewer.

The village will be rented out to media outlets but it is likely the whole complex will still cost between $3 million and $7 million to put in place.

The money will come from the $90 million contingency fund set up by the bid corp.

Wright doesn’t see the extra cost as a problem. In fact, he said cost changes facing the 2010 bid may be considerably less than those facing Salzburg (AUS) and Pyeongchang (KOR), the other two candidate cities for the 2010 Games.

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