Friday, February 5, 2010

What winter wonderland?

Unfortunately the "snow storm" last year (Vancouver's version which means... five inches that doesn't melt) didn't make a repeat visit. A warm spell has struck British Columbia's southern coast, leaving their mountains soggy and wet, and giving the Olympic organizers a bit of concern. As a preventative measure they have begun trucking in about three dozen loads of snow a day from Manning Park. This should come as no surprise since for the past ten years the hills have been rather... er.. brown.

For the past few years everyone, including the media, locals, vendors, and officials have been oozing nothing but enthusiasm for our prized city. Is it starting to crumble? The lack of snow can easily be replaced but what about creating seats out of thin air? About 12,000 tickets worth about $3 million have been lost in a complex web of international broker transactions... and they will not be getting a refund. Details here.

More bad news? Just before the Olympics, 700 clients been left in the lurch from Norwegian Cruise Line's unexpected cancellation, and have all been scrambling for other accommodations. (ouch... $$$)

Pathetic finger pointing over blame for the poorly planned $10 million dollar pavilion is the newest huff from many locals.

"We listened to too much advice from the Americans. There was all this talk about not being worried about the architecture.

The whole short-term mentality, the power of a world event when two billion people are watching, we have to think about the message we're conveying to people," -Vancouver Sun

Blame it on the Americans? You must be kidding me! And I thought I could be a fool at times. The only people to blame are the ones on the Vancouver Olympic Committee who agreed to hire the Chicago based firm's proposed bid/design. You can't convince me that an architectural firm didn't present drawings or a model... come on. No one is that dense. Not for that much cash.

Fortunately this city is surrounded by some of the most beautiful sights, which will hopefully serve as a distraction. It's not as a diverse cosmopolitan city as it's advertised (I don't consider Chinese and Caucasian to be diverse), but it does boast a few great restaurants, Stanley park, and a ski/snowboard culture that rivals Colorado. Just don't forget to bring your umbrella.