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  • Vancouver Olympics Opens the Books


    (ATR)In a move that may convince the Canadian government to help defray increased costs for the Vancouver Olympics, VANOC 2010 has opened its books, making the first of what are to be quarterly financial reports.

    "This is a good thing to do," said VANOC chief executive officer John Furlong. "It not only deals with transparency and accountability, but it also really drives up the quality of awareness for the project."

    Furlong denied the federal government asked VANOC to open up, but notes "we have certainly communicated with our partners who all support what we're doing."

    No new funds were in either the Canadian or the British Columbian government's spring budgets, despite VANOC's request to help with rising construction costs.

    VANOC's last financial statement was dated July 31, 2005. Auditor Ernst & Young signed-off in September but VANOC waited months to release the figures.

    The new, unaudited report shows VANOC had $31 million in deferred revenue for the nine months ending April 30, 2006.

    Revenue, marketing and communications took up almost $16 million of the $43 million in deferred expenses for the period.

    Whistler venues dominated building expenditures, with almost $8 million on the Callaghan Valley Nordic venue and $7.5 million on the sliding centre at Blackcomb.

    VANOC counted $59 million in assets and $42 million in liabilities with $18 million in the venue development fund.

    VANOC anticipates Ottawa and Victoria will eventually add $50 million each to the $211 million they have pledged to build venues for the Games.

    In other items from this week's teleconference with Furlong and executives from VANOC:

    *The cost to compensate owners of Cypress, Whistler and Blackcomb m
    VANOC is still negotiating the cost of rent they will pay to use venues such as Cypress near Vancouver, site of freestyle ski events. (ATR) 
    ountains for loss of business when their slopes become Olympic venues has not been determined.

    *If the IOC approves this fall, there may be new curling, alpine skiing, luge and ski jumping events added to the Games. The cost implications are still unknown says Furlong.

    *VANOC's next quarterly report is expected in the fall. A business plan is expected to be released in November.

    *VANOC plans to hire an executive vice-president in charge of government relations, strategic communications and protocol.

    *Almost a third of the 1,300 fulltime workforce will have been hired by year-end.

    *Ticketing and mascot programs will be on the agenda later this year. Ticket sales aren't expected until spring 2008.

    Reported by Bob Mackin in Vancouver.

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