Economic benefits likely to be seen when Games are over

Its presence can be felt at the Bay Centre, in the lounge at Oak Bay Rec and even driving down McKenzie Avenue, where there are streetlights decked out with celebratory banners.

Almost anywhere else in Greater Victoria, it’s hard to know that one of the biggest sporting events in the world kicks off in B.C. today.

David McLean, who formerly chaired the Victoria Spirit Committee and Greater Victoria Olympic Communities Committee, wanted to see more Olympic presence in the region.

“We tried to get curling to come across to Victoria and we said, ‘Let’s flatten it out and make it really a B.C. bid.’ We were signaled very strongly, ‘No, this is Vancouver-Whistler,’” he said.

The promotion of Victoria’s sports facilities as potential Games training centres didn’t turn out as well as hoped, either. “We had a few (athletes training here),” McLean said. “I know we were hoping for more in the hockey world. But we’ve had some of the curlers. And Mount Washington has done very well. So when you look at it from a whole Island point of view, I think we’ve done very well.”

In 2003, McLean identified four main areas with economic potential: protocol visits, cultural events, practice facilities and exhibition games.

Though, arguably, only the first three panned out, he said he still expects Victoria to see an economic boost from the Games.

Kelsi Woodward with Tourism Victoria agreed, adding that the potential for attracting visitors in the peak tourist season will be easier.

“The anticipated benefit will be the down the road exposure, and that’s what was always expected,” she said.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Cyclist without helmet thrown onto windshield in Oak Bay

Despite damage to bike, cyclist uninjured following accident

Annual UVic Xmas tree sale goes on despite loss of beloved tree farmer

Mike Fleming of Saanichton Christmas Tree Farm partnered with students for annual fundraiser for nearly 20 years

Victoria tech companies donate record-breaking weight of food

VIATEC’s 16th annual food bank challenge raised $45,224.40 for Mustard Seed

City of Victoria responds to blind community’s B.C. Human Rights Tribunal case

The Canadian Federation of the Blind says bike lanes can be dangerous

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Omar Khadr to ask for Canadian passport to travel, permission to speak to sister

He spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught when he was 15

One of Tori Stafford’s killers transferred to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Military closes book on oft-criticized support unit for ill, injured troops

The transition unit will provide support and services to military members struggling with physical and mental injuries so they can return to work.

Vancouver Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson named NHL’s first star of the week

Canucks centre scored two goals and six assists in three games

Protester says Canada doing U.S. ‘dirty work’ outside Huawei exec’s bail hearing

The U.S. wants to extradite Meng to face fraud allegations after Canada arrested the high-profile technology executive.

Union says arrows and gasoline tossed at striking Comox Valley assisted living workers

BCGEU president Stephanie Smith says arrows and gasoline were thrown at the picketers early in the week

Most Read