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Temporary Hostel to Open December 4 for Visitors and Workers in Vancouver during 2010 Winter Games

The temporary hostel for the 2010 Winter Games will open its doors next week at the Eldorado Hotel in east Vancouver to provide low-cost accommodations for people seeking Games-related employment or youth travellers on a limited budget coming to take part in the celebrations.

This project is another way the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) is delivering on the Inner-City Inclusive Commitments - developed during the bid for the Games - to provide alternative forms of temporary accommodation for Games visitors.

"There's a lot of excitement across Canada about the coming Games and we expect many travellers, especially young people, will start arriving in our city in the coming weeks without a place to stay," explained Donna Wilson, VANOC's executive vice president, people and sustainability. "This hostel will provide them with an affordable place to bed down for the night without impacting the city's shelters or low-income housing, which is a commitment we made during the bid phase for the 2010 Winter Games."

Up to 100 people a night are expected in December, with a peak of around 300 people during the height of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games in February, before tapering off again in March. These estimates are based on past demands at the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games and have been adjusted to reflect Vancouver's size, location and temperate climate.

Eldorado Operations Ltd., which leases the property at 2330 Kingsway, won the bid to run the hostel after a request for expressions of interest was issued by VANOC in May 2009.

The temporary hostel will operate from December 4, 2009 through to mid-March 2010 and is easily accessible by bus and SkyTrain. Up to 100 beds will be available each night leading up to the Games. This will increase to over 300 beds per night in February.

The hostel will offer dorm-style accommodation, as well as an affordable breakfast, Internet and TV lounge. The nightly rate is a modest $34 Cdn, including taxes, equivalent to a mid-range commercial hostel.

After the Games, VANOC and Eldorado Operations will collaborate on the donation of furniture and equipment purchased for the hostel to various overnight camps serving children and families in need in the Lower Mainland.

In addition to this project, last year VANOC contributed funding to the expansion of Covenant House, supporting the creation of 32 new transitional housing beds for at-risk youth aged 16 to 22. Primary funding was provided by the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia and the City of Vancouver. Covenant House Vancouver is a shelter and resource centre for homeless youth.

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