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Olympic tickets available, but where to stay?

Whistler accommodation organizers working to have some rooms ready for booking this fall

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You can buy tickets to the 2010 Olympic Games in just a few weeks but booking accommodation to go with it may have to wait.

And that is a concern as people may be put off buying tickets for Whistler events if they think they won’t be able to get anywhere to stay.

Tourism Whistler, which operates Whistler.com, the go-to site on the 2010 Olympic Games website, is concerned enough that it is trying to work with some of its members to get some accommodation ready to book this fall.

“It is one of the areas we are looking at now,” said Breton Murphy, Tourism Whistler’s Manager, Corporate and Member Communications.

“We are communicating with our members to encourage them to try and confirm the inventory much earlier than they normally would…

“But we… are expecting there to be availability (for the Games) and we want to let folks know that so if you are buying your ticket in October, given the fact that we have over 10,000 bedrooms, we are confident that you are going to have some choice.

“ But… if they are looking to book in October it is unlikely that it will coincide at the exact same time they want to buy their tickets.”

This week senior staff with the Fairmont chain in B.C. met to discuss the situation as well.

  The Fairmont Chateau Whistler property has been booked out by the Olympic family. But it remains the five-star hotel’s hope that non-Olympic family guests will be able to stay there as well during the event.

“We still don’t know what that inventory will look like,” said spokeswoman Lynn Gervais.

“It is go time for everyone and unfortunately we don’t have much more information that we did previously.

“We anticipate that there will be some rooms available, however, people will most likely need to book through a tour operator and those are just the details we are trying to work out right now.

“It is a concern of ours as we want people to be up in Whistler… and I wonder what will happen with tickets sales if people are reluctant to purchase because they have nowhere to stay.”

While there are some accommodation providers who are advertising that they will take 2010 bookings, such as Aloha Whistler Accommodations, many others are waiting until closer to the year countdown, in February.

There are several reasons at the root of that delay when it comes to Whistler accommodation. One is that many private owners who normally rent out through property managers don’t have to commit one way or the other until 12 months out at the earliest. Some owners can give just a few months notice.

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