2010 Winter Olympics Feel a Chill in One Host Town
Construction hassles, dim future depress Whistler residents
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2009 3:44 PM CDT
Zina Kocher of Canada takes aim at the rifle range during a training session at the IBU Women's Biathlon World Cup at the Whistler Olympic Park in Whistler, British Columbia.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Whistler Village, Canada, celebrated when it learned it would host many events as part of the 2010 Winter Olympics in nearby Vancouver. But the honeymoon is pretty much over, the Seattle Times reports. Clogged roads, endless construction, and soon-to-be-closed schools have residents ruing the decision. And their ire doesn’t even address a terrifying possibility: all the inconvenience may not improve the lot of the struggling resort town.

“Business as usual has become business as unusual,” says Whistler’s mayor, who nevertheless remains an Olympic booster. Others aren’t so certain. “It's not like there's a big step up and you get a whole bunch more people coming in” after the Olympics, an expert says. “There's a pretty quick decay within several years.” Still, the mayor is confident. “This is going to be the defining moment in Whistler's history,” he says, quickly adding, “defining in the best sense of the word.”