Vancouver was awarded the 2010 Games in 2003. Like previous Olympic
games, standard business practices, and planning and budgets were either
modified or disregarded to ensure that venues were ready on time. To do so,
our local and provincial governments made the Olympics a priority, at times
at the expense of the private sector. Olympic infrastructure spending generally peaks two years in advance of the Games, and in the lead-up construction
costs were rising between 1. 5 to 2.0 percent per month. There are also very
dubious cost expenditures and mismanagement of public funds with every
Olympic Games. In Vancouver, it is our Olympic Village which is the most
controversial project. What was to be a private development that would house
the Olympians during the Games and then be sold at market afterwards is currently a billion dollar plus liability for the city of Vancouver.
Therefore, rather than being a potential windfall for the property management
industry, many firms instead used their efforts to work with their existing tenant
base to weather the Olympic storm, and hopefully benefit from future opportunities based upon the publicity a city achieves from hosting the Games.
William mcCarthy, Cpm, principal of W.p.J. mcCarthy and Company ltd.,
AmO®, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.
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The 2002 Winter Olympics were an outstanding success!
When Salt Lake City was selected to host the 2002 Winter
Games, community and business leaders worked together
to house athletes, corporate sponsors, spectators and
media outlets. This is no small matter. Imagine just the
communications hub which requires several hundreds of media experts to
broadcast the games to anticipating viewers 24/7 around the globe.
When the world community meets to participate in an event as big as the
Olympics, the host community undergoes an amazing transformation. Various
high-rise buildings in the Central Business District (CBD) became the backdrop for banners highlighting particular events and the games as a whole. In
addition to the external marketing focus, those same building owners hosted
evening dinner parties, open houses and social gatherings.
In addition to the venues themselves, entire apartment communities
were built to house the various groups. Afterwards, these same properties
became part of the overall apartment community, giving property managers
the opportunity to expand their management services. As the world came to
see the Olympic Games, they not only saw the sporting events, they saw our
beautiful city, and its business climate and potential. Within months, our cap
rates dropped by 1 to 2 percent and real estate investment, with its associated
property management activity, grew at an alarming rate.
Eric B. Storey, Cpm, vice president, and manager of corporate properties,
zions Bank, Salt lake City, utah.
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