Vancouver anticipates economic boost

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The last major world event hosted in Vancouver was the World's Fair in 1986. That's what first put the city on the world map.

The 2010 Olympics are a chance to show the world how much more it's grown since then, and it couldn't come at a better time to boost its economy.

There's something happening in Vancouver that's not happening much anywhere else in North America: construction! New buildings are popping up all over Vancouver.

Colin Hansen, minister for the 2010 Olympics, said, "The timing of the Games in early 2010 couldn't come at a better time as the world feels economic confidence coming back."

John Furlong, the CEO of the Vancouver Organzing Committee (VANOC), is making sure it sticks to its $1.6 billion budget. "We're spending a lot of time to be prudent financial managers," he said.

Vancouver's economy is expecting billions of dollars from the Games. "We're talking about $4 billion," Hansen said.

All that money will come from the thousands of fans, athletes and media who will be at the Games. Phil Heard of the Vancouver Economic Development Commission said, "Anywhere between 275,000 to 600,000. I believe it's going to be 600,000."

"It's going to help our economy and the Canadian economy," he added.

One of the buildings being built, a new convention center, is where media will work during the Games. It's being built right next door to the old convention center. "They will be connected by that connector you see there," Heard pointed out.

Another huge hotel is being built right downtown. Both are needed because the city is going to be packed next February.

Heard said, "The Olympics are fantastic for Vancouver."

The global economic crisis has made it harder to secure sponsorship deals. Organizers say they still need to recruit three or four new major sponsors to raise roughly $10 million to meet financial goals.

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Amanda Butterfield


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