Olympic Stuff 

The Sea to Sky highway and fear of paying more in taxes to cover the cost of an over-budget Winter Olympic Games are the two hot topics at the 2010 Bid Corporation’s new information office.

"The #1 concern is obviously the highway," said 2010 spokeswoman Michele Prenz.

"But as we remind people, it is not our responsibility. It is a provincial concern as to what they do with the highway."

The office, just beside the Brew House restaurant, is open Friday through Tuesday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. About 50 people a day visit the centre, which has wall-mounted information boards, a computer with access to the 2010 Web site, and a volunteer to answer questions and take suggestions.

In the next few days a big-screen TV, tuned to the Salt Lake Winter Games, will be on as long as the office is open.

About 300 people have signed the guest-book.

Other concerns raised by visitors, mostly locals or people who own second homes in Whistler, include how town-traffic will move during the Games.

The plan so far is to transport visitors by bus to the resort and other venue sites. As many as 600 buses a day would be on the road making local driving and parking all but impossible.

"That was completely the case in both Sydney and Lillehammer and they survived," said Prenz.

"There is also general concern about how (the Games) are going to impact ‘me personally.’ Will it increase my taxes?

"The one thing that we say is that over the years the IOC has really got their act together in terms of supporting the host city, in terms of making the Games as cost effective as possible.

"One of the ways they do that is through renegotiating media and broadcast rights. So sponsorship revenues and opportunities are continuing to grow exponentially for host cities.

"And we are not building from the ground up. We already have many of the facilities."

More information on the legacies for Whistler and the corridor will be available at two open houses hosted by the Resort Municipality of Whistler.

Both will be held in the Maguire room at the conference centre. The first will be on Feb. 20, from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. The second will be on Feb. 23, from 11 am, to 3 p.m.

The ‘Korean Incident’

Vancouver-Whistler’s Olympic bid team were shocked this week during their visit to Salt Lake to see a huge banner proclaiming Korea’s bid for the 2010 Games.

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