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Stars, strips and Olympic kiosks



The Vancouver Organizing Committee has selected an American company to provide and operate 60 retail kiosks at next year's Winter Olympic Games.

Denver, Colorado-based company XP Events will design, build, staff and operate the concession stands at 15 competition and non-competition venues between Feb. 12, 2010 and March 21, 2010.

"XP Events, like the other businesses who have partnered with VANOC 2010, recognize the high value of the 2010 brand," said Dennis Kim, VANOC's director of licensing and merchandising, in a statement last week.

"Sales have been very strong for our licensee program to date, and we look forward to building a mutual, beneficial partnership with them."

At least six of those kiosks will be located in Whistler, according to Kim, now that Whistler's council has approved the controversial Temporary Commercial Use Permit (TCUP) bylaw.

"VANOC is currently planning to service spectators inside the fence lines at Whistler venues with one retail kiosk inside the Whistler Creekside venue, two kiosks at the Whistler Sliding Centre and one kiosk at each of the three stadium sites at Whistler Olympic Park," said Kim.

"The concession stands will be located inside the venues serving spectators."

To run the concession stands in both Vancouver and Whistler, XP Events hopes to hire 250 part-time staff locally.

The company will also work closely with up to 41 other Vancouver 2010 licensee holders, like the Hudson's Bay Company, to sell official merchandise.

Past clients XP Events has worked with include FC Barcelona Tour 2008, 2008 IHF World Hockey Championships, FIFA U-20 World Cup 2007, FIFA Women's Cup China 2007, Tour de France London Stages 2007, Grey Cup 2006 and the NBA All Star Games in 2007, 2008 and 2009