Olympic Bid Corporation has busy week ahead 

Noticed that new green building which suddenly appeared next to the Brew House restaurant?

It’s the new home of the Vancouver Whistler 2010 Bid Corporation’s information office.

"It is a larger location and it is really going to allow us to share ideas and display additional information about the bid," said Sam Corea manager of media relations for the Bid Corporation.

"And we hope to hear more from Whistler residents with their thoughts and ideas and comments and suggestions."

Next Friday, Jan. 25, the information office will be officially opened and an open house will be held from 2 to 7 p.m. Another open house will be held the next day, Saturday, Jan. 26, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Bid Corporation is looking for volunteers to work at the information centre. Anyone interested can phone 604-932-2010 or e-mail whistler2010@telus.net .

Another fireside chat is also scheduled at Millennium Place on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. Todd Allison, general manager of the Telus Winter Sport Centre will talk about the centre and the benefits it brings to youth, athlete and sport development.

The Bid Corporation has also had several new businesses in Whistler join their efforts.

Blackcomb Lodge, Wildwood Lodge, and ResortQuest International have offered cash or in-kind support for the organization.

"Support for the corporate sector – whether it be cash or in-kind services – is crucial to moving the bid forward so that we can present the best possible proposal to the (International Olympic Committee) in July 2003," said CEO of the bid Jack Poole.

Approximately $26 million of the budgeted $34 million needed to finance the bid has come form corporate, provincial and federal support. To date there are more than 50 members, with Telus and Molson leading the way as the corporation’s Premier Founding Supporters.

Other local businesses already on board are the Pan Pacific Lodge Whistler, Rainbow Retreats, and Westin Hotels and Resorts Whistler and Vancouver.

The City of Richmond is also endorsing the bid.

"Richmond will be the gateway to the 2010 Games," said Richmond mayor Malcolm Brodie.

"Nearly every athlete, coach, and spectator will arrive at the airport in Richmond to attend the Games and we have a special opportunity to make a fantastic first impression that can potentially result in huge increases in tourism over time."

The Lower Mainland municipality stands to benefit from the Games with potential improvements to transit and a new trade and exhibition centre that would serve as the international broadcast centre during the 2010 Games.

The Bid Corporation has asked Richmond to come up with $500,000 over the next three years to help pay for the bid.

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