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I write to respond to the article by Alison Taylor, "Park City provides insights two years after Games" (Pique, Aug. 6)

I am a veteran of two Olympics as a staff member to Atlanta (1996) and previously an employee of Tourism Canada during Calgary (1988). I cannot agree more with the findings of Mr. Kelly, and others regarding the business opportunities and future that lies ahead for Whistler.

There is no question that there is plenty of revenue to go around for tourism operators during Vancouver 2010. However, the notion of stratospheric dollars is merely a myth and I commend your civic leaders for learning from others.

Yes, the restaurants, T-shirt and pin manufacturers will do quite nicely, however, those who see the Winter Olympics as a panacea and cure all will be quite disappointed. I would caution those real estate developers to err on the conservative side.

In other Olympic cities and towns, the much anticipated real estate boom has rarely materialized. Yes, there will be those lucky few whose homes or condos command tens of thousands for the Olympic period, yet, for most, it will be a busy time, however, one should not anticipate revenue much different that what will be commanded in 2008, for example.

The greatest challenge and opportunity for Whistler is to mobilize your community to think beyond the one month period of Vancouver 2010. Resist the temptation to price gouge, and to mobilize your resources to captialize on the unprecedented and free media exposure that is before you.

In the medium and long term beyond 2010, there is simply no better media than to have NBC's The Today Show broadcasting live from the village, the vignettes of travel and tourism coverage that the international media will produce about Whistler, and the simple thrill and excitement of the giant slalom on nightly television around the world. In advertising dollars, you simply cannot buy such coverage – and therein lies Whistler's opportunity.

Whistler is blessed with an unprecedented opportunity to showcase your community to the world (much of which will be free). Mr. Kelly, the Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Whistler, Intrawest and others are quite correct to undertake these fact finding missions to learn from others. This is money well spent.

Ian Hamilton

Kanata, Ontario

Would the person who stole the red Gary Fisher Joshua Y frame bike from our family home on Balsam Way please be kind enough to return it.

The 11-year-old girl you stole it from would really like it back!

The Britt/Wallace/Carrell family


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