Were Vancouver's 2010 Olympics Worth the Investment?
"The 2010 Winter Olympics cost more than $7-billion to stage, but they were worth it because they spurred major infrastructure developments that helped transform Vancouver and Whistler, a new study concludes."
However, according to the report prepared by professor Rob VanWynsberghe for the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Games did not boost tourism, nor did they "significantly change the international images of Vancouver or Whistler."
So what, then, was actually achieved? Three major infrastructure projects (the Sea-to-Sky Highway upgrade, construction of the Canada Line, and the Vancouver Convention Centre) were completed with the backing of the provincial and federal governments. "The report states that for every $12 spent by Ottawa and B.C. on the three big projects, local taxpayers contributed only $1," writes Mark Hume.
“Residents paid little in direct taxes to get great infrastructure … it is a good deal,” said Prof. VanWynsberghe. One wonders if the provincial and federal governments would agree.