Business News Strategies and Opportunities in Olympics Sport Regions

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Originally published June 1, 2004

Allen Aubert - Arbitration

Rich PattersonArbitration is often a preferred alternative to litigation in the construction industry, and one of the advocates spreading the gospel in this growing discipline is Allen Aubert Architects Inc.

The Olympics will place incredible pressure on the design and construction industry to deliver on time and on budget. Unfortunately, pressure isn't something laid-back Vancouverites are used to handling. In fact when you speak to local businessmen they proudly boast of their west-coast cool cachet of getting it done ... well . . . whenever. The IOC has news for everyone who thinks it can be delivered so casually - it's great to live in Utopia, but the Olympics waits for no one.

I'm going to choke if I hear one more local business person describe to me how Vancouver is like California and that the laid back west coast attitude is firmly ingrained in their DNA. For starters, and I know this from first hand experience, in a business sense Vancouver isn't at all like California. Other than maybe the hilly terrain we're not much like San Francisco and certainly nothing like Los Angeles. In fact we're more like Oregon, which by the way has the highest unemployment rate in United States. Los Angeles business people are aggressive. They get things done and they do it today. Conversely, we like to ski and hike and kayak. Big difference and it will become even more pronounced the closer we get to Olympic construction deadlines unless we change our attitude.

I have a feeling that after the Athens fiasco dust settles the IOC is going to get tough, very tough, and pursue construction delivery issues more vigorously than it has in the past. Companies are going to find themselves on the wrong end of a very powerful and expensive liability suit they never before even remotely imagined.

The IOC will have no choice but to get serious if they want to maintain and maybe even salvage their credibility. Already they are attacked on every side by communities who do not want the Olympics coming to their town. The last thing the IOC needs is bad construction publicity, unfortunately that's about all Athens has delivered. It's ironic that the CBC television icon we see every day advertising the summer games is an exploding Olympian head bursting into a fireball. Prophetic to be sure.

Are you psyched about the 2004 Summer Games like you have been for past Olympic events? Do you find it odd that considering the Olympics is coming to Vancouver that you're not very, very keen regarding Athens? Don't you think considering our newfound relationship to the event we should be whipped into more of a frenzy 100 days out? Are you a bit apprehensive, maybe even nervous? You should be.

Already John Furlong, VANOC CEO is questioning overrun issues and is considering making major changes to the construction landscape. This is a sign. Read it and heed it. It will only get worse. Litigation is looming large on the construction industry horizon and if you want to play you will pay, one way or another.

We invested over three years and a six-figure budget researching Olympic organization relationships with sponsors, contractors, suppliers, partners, etc. The results surprised us too ... mouseover below

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Learn more about the challenges small and midsize
businesses face. Leverage Olympic Momentum

Olympic organizations are
BIG BUSINESS MACHINES that attract corporations like Kodak, CocaCola, McDonald's, Wal*Mart, etc. Consequently, VANOC (Vancouver Organizing Committee) will be stretched thin trying to also develop ways to assist small and midsize businesses leverage Olympic momentum. Surprisingly, many people don't realize the event can also be lucrative for smaller businesses including agriculture, manufacturers, entertainment, technology, retail & obviously tourism, even when they don't have products or services that appeal to Olympic fans or serve a direct Olympic need.

The information we share here is invaluable in helping small and midsize businesses leverage Olympic momentum.

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