Renting a home for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver or Whistler?

The Winter Olympic Games like the Summer Olympic Games are held once every four years. The last Winter Olympic Games were held Torino in Italy in 2006. On July 3rd 2003, the Canadian city of Vancouver was awarded the Winter Olympic Games and subsequently the mayor of Vancouver, Sam Sullivan received the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Torino games. This flag is currently on display at the Vancouver City Hall where it will remain until the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. These Winter Olympic Games which will be known as the XXI Olympic Winter Games or the 21st Winter Olympics will be held in Vancouver and its nearby resort city of Whistler, British Columbia between February 12th and 28th 2010. After the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Vancouver will also host the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games from the 12th to the 21st of March 2010.

Vancouver Rentals -an ideal location

Vancouver which is often ranked as one of the top cities in the world to live in is known for its beautiful natural scenery, temperate climate, cleanliness and vibrant multi-cultural society. Vancouver’s International Airport which is located in Metro Vancouver has direct air links with various major cities around the globe as well as several other Canadian cities. This makes getting to Vancouver relatively easy for participants and spectators. Moreover the resort city of Whistler which is co-hosting the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and is located just 125 km away from Vancouver  is renowned for its excellent winter sports and various other recreational facilities.

Preparing for the Games

Both the host cities of Vancouver and Whistler have been undergoing intense preparations for the games in the form of creation of new sporting, transport and infrastructural facilities in order to welcome the many participants, officials, members of the international media and spectators who will be traveling to Vancouver  for the games. It is estimated that 5500 athletes and officials from more than eighty participating nations will be attending the Winter Olympic Games while 1350 athletes and officials from over forty nations will attend the Paralympics Games. In addition to these athletes and officials, more than 10,000 media personnel from various national and international agencies will also come to Vancouver to cover the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Both the Winter Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games are being organized by Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC).

Participating Countries

The National Olympic Committees of more than 80 nations will field teams for the 2010 Winter Games.  Nations need to qualify at least one athlete or team to be a participant in the games. The list of participating counties includes countries that have a long tradition of winter sports like Austria, Norway, Denmark, USA and Great Britain and also several others countries like Kenya and Thailand who are not usually known for their winter sports exploits. In fact, the games will feature many firsts like the first time participation of the Western African nation of Ghana. The debutant Ghanaian team will feature 34 year old Ghanian skier Kwame Nkrumah – Acheampong who is known as ‘Snow Leopard’ and who will be competing in the slalom and giant slalom skiing events. Similarly the team of the Islamic Republic of Iran will for the first time field a women skier at the 2010 Winter Games.

Sporting Events

The 2010 Winter Olympic Games will feature eighty six medal events in 15 sporting disciplines. These sports include Skiing (alpine skiing, cross country skiing, ski jumping, Nordic combined, freestyle skiing, and snowboard), Skating (speed skating, figure skating, and short track speed skating), Bobsleigh (bobsleigh and skeleton), Luge, Biathlon, Ice Hockey, and Curling. The Paralympic Winter Games will feature five sports Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Biathlon, Ice Sledge Hockey, and Wheelchair Curling.. Approximately 1.6 million tickets have been issued for the various events of the 2010 Winter Games. These tickets have been available in staggered sales since October 2008.

Many of the 2010 Winter Games venues are located in downtown Vancouver and  include the Canada Hockey Place (Ice hockey), Vancouver Olympic Center, (Curling and Wheel chair Curling)the Pacific Coliseum( Figure Skating)  and the UBC Thunderbird Arena( Ice Hockey and ice sledge hockey). Additionally the Richmond Olympic Oval which is located on the banks of the Fraser River will host all the speed skating events while Cypress Mountain located in West Vancouver will be the location for many of the skiing events. Venues in Whistler include the Whistler Sliding Centre, Whistler Creekside and the Whistler Olympic Park.

Non Competitive events

Apart from these sporting venues, the games will also feature several non competition venues like the BC Place Stadium located in downtown Vancouver which will be the location for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and the Opening Ceremony for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. This 55,000 seat stadium which features the largest air-supported stadium roof in North America will also be the site for the nightly Victory Ceremonies presentations which will be held before a live audience of 35,000 people. Medals won in Whistler will be awarded nightly at the Whistler Olympic Celebration Plaza with about 8000 people in attendance.

This is the first time in the Olympic Games history that the Opening and Closing ceremonies will be staged in an enclosed venue which will afford the participants, performers and spectators protection from the elements. The hosting of the ceremonies in an indoor venue will also help the organizers in conceptualizing, creating and hosting a spectacular show which is rumored to feature state of the art lighting, projection, sound and special effects as well as all kinds of performers, dancers and athletes who will showcase the vibrant history and culture of Canada.  

Excellent Public Transport system

The Games venues can be easily accessed by Vancouver’s excellent public transportation system which consists of public buses, Sky Train (light train), Sea Bus(passenger ferry) and the West Coast Express( rail service). The Canada Line, a new rapid rail service linking the Vancouver waterfront to Richmond and Vancouver International Airport will also become functional in mid- 2009 well in time for the games.  Additionally the Olympic Bus Network will provide access to the games venues located in Whistler. Further Vancouver’s public transport network is disabled friendly as well. VANOC wants the Games to be environmentally sustainable and are encouraging spectators to only make use of Vancouver’s excellent public transport to gain access to the many events of the Games.

2010 Accommodations :: Vancouver Rental Homes for the Olympic games

Along with the various sports and infrastructural facilities, VANOC is also involved in creating accommodation facilities for the many athletes, officials and accredited media personnel for the 2010 Winter Games. While the athletes will be housed at the newly constructed Olympic Villages in downtown Vancouver and in the scenic Cheakamus Valley in Whistler, VANOC has also negotiated with local hotels to provide rooms for 20,000 officials, media personnel and sponsors under a contract that it has with the IOC. As a result of which there is currently a room block in place for many Vancouver  hotels and hotel inventory will only become available closer to the Games.

If you have been lucky enough to score a ticket for one of the many events of the 2010 Winter Games, you might want to make accommodation plans for the Games at the earliest so as to avoid paying astronomical rates closer to Games. Apart from hotels, a variety of nontraditional accommodation options are also available to you both in Vancouver and Whistler like B&Bs, cruise ships and the increasing popular home rentals. In fact many Vancouver homeowners are looking to cash in on the Olympics by offering their homes for rent during the Games. These rental homes are being advertised on various vacation rental websites. A search in Yahoo using the search phrase Vancouver Rental Homes will point you in the right direction.

 How much will it cost you to rent a vacation rental for the 2010 Winter Games?

A quick examination of these classifieds and websites reveal that vacation home rentals for the 2010 Winter Games have an average nightly asking rate of $1000. These rates further vary according the size of the home being offered and the proximity of the home to the Games. One bedroom homes in Vancouver currently have an asking rate that range from approximately $464 upwards per night while homes with more than four bedrooms have an asking rate of approximately $1,500 upwards per night.  In Whistler, the asking rates for rental homes is higher as in certain areas  there is a shortage of supply and here rates are as high as $484 per bedroom night.

In addition to these steep rates, most renters also expect you to put down a steep damage deposit as a part of your rental agreement. This damage deposit can range from $1000 to an astronomical $3000 per week. Though this deposit is refundable it significantly adds to the cost of your accommodation at the 2010 Winter Games.

If however you want to avoid these steep charges and want to book your vacation rental from a well established trusted source you might want to have a look at the rental homes being offered for the 2010 Winter Games by regarded,  highly ranked and TRUSTED vacation rental websites.

 Bill Board Websites jammed and over crowded with homes will lead to a ton of frustration for 2010 Vancouver Whistler accommodations.

Vacation home rental websites also offers a wide variety of vacation rentals but there are websites where the owners and the renters are authenticated unlike other channels who offer homes which are not attested or verified. This increases the transparency of the rental process as both the owner and the renter are assured that they are entering a genuine agreement. When using one of the many billboard site it is up to the renter to investigate the home, owner, amenities and location of that particular home. This requires lots of time and effort but worth it so travelers do not show up to a vacant lot. There are a couple TRUSTED SITES for 2010 Winter game rentals that take the investigation to the next level by using a Vancouver law office to facilitate the rental contract for you and verify the home and true owner exist. – For first time travelers spending lots of money on accommodations this is something to seriously consider.

How does the rental process at one of the better Vacation Home Websites work? Having decided on a rental, the renter then pays the rental fees into a trust account that is maintained by a law office retained by the company. The rental fees are then held in this account to be dispersed to the owner only after the renter has vacated the premises. This process ensures that you are not sending your rental money to an unknown unverified entity that can misuse the funds and scam you out of your money. The process also aids the owner who is comforted by the fact that he will be paid for the lease of his property and will not be subject to payment frauds which are quite common with rental agreements that are finalized on the Internet. The rental process also doesn’t require you to plunk down a hefty damage deposit for your rental; instead all renters have to purchase a $39 insurance plan which covers home owners up to $3000. This rental process instituted by  safeguards the interests of both the renters and the homeowners. The process is transparent, trusted and relatively inexpensive as well.

Owners should look for websites that are actively spending money advertising their homes to renters.

The bottom line here is that if you are just one of hundreds of homes on a website for 2010Rentals and the site in not being promoted with Facebook, Google, Yahoo, AdWords etc…  in Countries beyond BC look elsewhere!!

By Harriet

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