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When the dominator energy came to town: the real IOC
One of the businesses the Olympic machine hurt was Mario’s Gelati:
“The proprietor of a gelato shop near the Olympics Village feels trapped by a mega-event city officials promised would bring nothing but dollar signs.
“This is a small family business,” Mario Loscerbo, president of Mario’s Gelati Inc., told the Tyee. “My losses are already way over what we could sustain, it’s totally impossible for us to continue on.”
…. He estimated his sales took a $1 million beating….organizers assured him business would more than recover during the Games. “They said, ‘you’re gonna make so much money,’” Loscerbo said.”
Perhaps the most unsettling story I heard on this topic was the assurance VANOC gave to Whistler restaurants that thousands of visitors would be bringing them business. VANOC neglected to disclose that VANOC and its official sponsors fed thousands of those potential patrons.
At the end of the Olympics, businesses along Granville and elsewhere threw their fears to the wind and decked out their storefronts with Olympic rings, “Go Canada Go” signs, and other Olympic paraphernalia in a belated and unsuccessful attempt to make money from the experience.
In fact, Maurice said VANOC and the IOC would find it economically challenging, if not impossible, to go after all the businesses regarding their overblown allegations of copyright infringement in a court of law. Most of the noise they make is bluff. The IOC uses a proven, carefully manufactured, and executed formula to scare local business owners. Except for a few smart marketers like lululemon, Taraxca Jewellers, and Scotiabank, most Vancouver business owners bowed to the intimidation, which means they are paying for the Olympics, but not benefitting. Lululemon snubbed their nose at the IOC’s bullying and marketed a very successful clothing line during the Olympics.
Maurice indicated that it is no coincidence that the HST has been put in place now along with increased parking and transit costs for Vancouver. These measures are subtle in the hope that people will not connect the dots from Larry Campbell’s pre-Olympic statement that the Olympics “wouldn’t cost the Vancouver taxpayers one penny” (Scroll down to and watch "The Right to the City: The Economics of the 2010 Olympics" in this last link) to the actual total cost, including Vancouver’s portion, exploding to around seven billion including $900,000 for security. There is also the one billion Olympic Village white elephant which the City of Vancouver will probably bear the cost of. This is the true legacy for any community willing to “feel the Olympic spirit”.
When the bid was first announced, Jack Poole, the man who brought the 2010 Winter Games to Vancouver, and others said it would be an “…economic windfall for the city and the entire province.”
Maurice said, “It is not VANOC's responsibility to warn citizens how the Olympic would impact the community with outcomes like rising taxes and property values. That responsibility falls directly and solely on the shoulders of mainstream news media. Canwest was paid by the IOC to tell the Olympic side of the Olympic story and so was the Globe and Mail.