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Additional beds won’t be Whistler’s cost

VANOC coughs up extra bed funding

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By Alison Taylor

The resort municipality is off the hook for funding any additional beds that may be required for the Olympic athletes’ village.

The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Games will supply any additional beds out of temporary modular housing.

That’s good news for Whistler, said Mayor Ken Melamed, who had taken a strong position that additional beds were not the municipality’s responsibility.

“That was our position and VANOC has acknowledged it and has respected that position,” said Melamed.

The issue caused a stir recently when the International Olympic Committee suggested they needed an additional 350 beds at the Whistler athletes’ village. That request came after the debriefing from the Torino Winter Games earlier this year.

The municipality estimated the cost for more than 300 additional beds between $10 and $20 million. It is already directly contributing $11 million to the village, the bulk of which is coming from the additional hotel tax the province has agreed to turn over to Whistler.

At VANOC’s community update Monday evening Tim Morrison, program director for Whistler villages, said the additional beds for the Whistler athletes’ village have not yet been confirmed and there are ongoing negotiations between VANOC and the IOC.

Whistler’s $130 million business plan for the village was approved in June. The plan currently envisions 2,065 athlete beds in 251 units for the Games.

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