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Should Queenstown Bid For 2026 Winter Olympics?


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What's up with all these people that think Agenda 2020 is going to be some universe altering document that will completely change the way the games are held? Do they know the IOC?

Yeah, it might just be a PR exercise. I believe in changes when I see them, and not just in a nicely printed document at the end of the session.

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According to a meeting I had with a FIS connected person Queenstown Lakes can hold a downhill. It would extend from say 1800m to 1000m, with the bottom section man-made snow (i.e. 800m vertical). Indeed it would be preferable the whole course was man-made snow for its consistency (also a chairlift would likely be needed to reach the bottom of the course if other transport was not acceptable).

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Bruce, I admire your enthusiasm and engagement in this, and really appreciate that you share all this on here, but as many others, I am quite sceptical of the chances such a bid would have.

Nevertheless, best of luck, a Winter Games in NZ would surely be a unique experience.

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Reading through this forum, I think the Winter Olympics is within New Zealand's grasp.

I believe that Christchurch and Queenstown will have sufficient accommodation available to meet the IOC's requirements by 2026. First of all, assume Queenstown and Christchurch would have 16,000 rooms by 2026, add to that around 1,500 rooms in Wanaka, which can serve as accommodation for people attending events at Cardrona and Snow Farm, as well as media villages in Christchurch and Queenstown, made by a mixture of permanent and modular housing (which can be transported to Auckland after the games) that can house all the media attending, as well as University accommodation, 3-4 cruise ships docked in Lyttelton, secondary school boarding houses and home rental programmes, similar to what was used for 2011 Rugby World Cup. Also, many domestic visitors can stay in their campervans at the local campgrounds in and around Christchurch and Queenstown.

My transport strategy is formed around public transport, park and ride services, fan trails (similar to 2011 Rugby World Cup) and cycling. First of all, Christchurch, Queenstown and Auckland Airports would be the official airports. Also train lines could be built from Queenstown to Wanaka via. Cardrona, this would give another transport route to the Cardrona venues and should Queenstown Airport be inaccessible due to weather, planes can be diverted to Wanaka and travellers can then train to Queenstown. Also, planes could be diverted to Invercargill and Dunedin Airports should Queenstown and/or Wanaka airports be inaccessible and then bus to Queenstown. Also, bus services could be available from Queenstown to and from Christchurch hourly which can decrease the dependency on air travel. Buses could be scheduled so visitors could watch a morning event in one city and watch an evening event in the other city or a midnight service could be offered where passengers can arrive in the other city in time for the morning events.

In Christchurch, all the buses services that pass through the central city could become more frequent during the games as well as offering park and ride services and in Queenstown, a temporary bus exchange could be set up at the Recreation Ground, which is within walking distance of the town centre and accommodation.

Would be interested to hear your opinions.

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Reading through this forum, I think the Winter Olympics is within New Zealand's grasp.

I believe that Christchurch and Queenstown will have sufficient accommodation available to meet the IOC's requirements by 2026. First of all, assume Queenstown and Christchurch would have 16,000 rooms by 2026, add to that around 1,500 rooms in Wanaka, which can serve as accommodation for people attending events at Cardrona and Snow Farm, as well as media villages in Christchurch and Queenstown, made by a mixture of permanent and modular housing (which can be transported to Auckland after the games) that can house all the media attending, as well as University accommodation, 3-4 cruise ships docked in Lyttelton, secondary school boarding houses and home rental programmes, similar to what was used for 2011 Rugby World Cup. Also, many domestic visitors can stay in their campervans at the local campgrounds in and around Christchurch and Queenstown.

My transport strategy is formed around public transport, park and ride services, fan trails (similar to 2011 Rugby World Cup) and cycling. First of all, Christchurch, Queenstown and Auckland Airports would be the official airports. Also train lines could be built from Queenstown to Wanaka via. Cardrona, this would give another transport route to the Cardrona venues and should Queenstown Airport be inaccessible due to weather, planes can be diverted to Wanaka and travellers can then train to Queenstown. Also, planes could be diverted to Invercargill and Dunedin Airports should Queenstown and/or Wanaka airports be inaccessible and then bus to Queenstown. Also, bus services could be available from Queenstown to and from Christchurch hourly which can decrease the dependency on air travel. Buses could be scheduled so visitors could watch a morning event in one city and watch an evening event in the other city or a midnight service could be offered where passengers can arrive in the other city in time for the morning events.

In Christchurch, all the buses services that pass through the central city could become more frequent during the games as well as offering park and ride services and in Queenstown, a temporary bus exchange could be set up at the Recreation Ground, which is within walking distance of the town centre and accommodation.

Would be interested to hear your opinions.

All very well, except for the idea of using campervans or cycling during winter (but that's just comfortable-loving me).

But none of these can remove the essential problem: Southern winter is in Northern summer and it would require drastic changes in calendars but also mindsets for such a bid to succeed.

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I believe that Christchurch and Queenstown will have sufficient accommodation available to meet the IOC's requirements by 2026. First of all, assume Queenstown and Christchurch would have 16,000 rooms by 2026, add to that around 1,500 rooms in Wanaka, which can serve as accommodation for people attending events at Cardrona and Snow Farm, as well as media villages in Christchurch and Queenstown, made by a mixture of permanent and modular housing (which can be transported to Auckland after the games) that can house all the media attending, as well as University accommodation, 3-4 cruise ships docked in Lyttelton, secondary school boarding houses and home rental programmes, similar to what was used for 2011 Rugby World Cup. Also, many domestic visitors can stay in their campervans at the local campgrounds in and around Christchurch and Queenstown.

Hosts need 50,000 hotel rooms in the metro area. This does not include campgrounds or cruise ships.

Vancouver had over 50k (including 13,000 downtown alone) and still had to bring in cruise ships in the scramble to find housing for security staff. Sochi had to build tons of hotels to get to 50,000 rooms and may not get much use out of them moving forward. Unless there are truly massive reforms cities with 15,000 hotel rooms need not apply.

Edited by Nacre
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Hosts need 50,000 hotel rooms in the metro area.

Hosts don't need anything like 50,000 hotel rooms. Oh, the IOC might want it, but they don't need it.

<Grampa Simpson voice>

Way back in 1994 (just not that long ago) Lillihammer hosted the Olympics with few hotel rooms. People day-triped in. And - gasp - people camped. In the snow. And were happy to do so. They walked to veues (uphill, bothways). And everybody loved the Olympics and said they were great.

<voice>

The IOC says they want change. They say they want cheaper games. They say they want to be flexible. They say they want games that are good for the local community. Personally, I think they are full of ****... but cities should call their bluff. See if they really mean it.

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:angry:

Queenstown is waaaaaaay too small to host what is now a bloated joke of an event. Youth version maybe.

Have we not just witnessed far more capable cities in countries that have a better track record in the OWGs pull out?

As an over taxed New Zealander, I would totally baulk at the idea of paying gazillions for a two week event that is forgotten about within a month of it being hosted. I would sooner blow that kind of money on the big one! I was enthusiastic twenty years go with the Lillihammer concept becase back then it was seriously looked at. But now the IOC want a Sochi style cluster.

Personally I now think NZ is over exposed in the so called "Middle Earth" fanaticism that has come into play here. It's all very well looking at films and pictures of lakes and mountains but how's about a reality check, go check out the movie "Once Were Warriors", then you might just see what other problems everyday Kiwis have to deal with as well.

Good on the dreamers in Queenstown for dreaming big, I hope they change the bed sheets when they wake up!

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@G_Hunter some excellent ideas. I think I need to revisit the Christchurch section in my report given the accommodation ideas I've seen from you and others.


You're the second person in 48 hours who has brought up a train option between Wanaka and Queenstown so I think that needs to be looked (though graident probably restricts this to gondolas). I'm not sure buses on our existing Christchurch to Queenstown roads will meet IOC requirements but let's see what the Agenda 2020 report says.


Your ideas on bus services within Christchurch is just the sort of transport management that we'll need during the games within the cities.


@StefanMUC the different seasons is an issue, but we are now used to summer Olympics, soccer, rugby and cricket being played in the other hemisphere's off season.


@Nacre and @Lord David the accommodation requirement is 24,200 rooms for the 2022 Olympics (unless I'm misunderstanding your point). I think this needs to be reduced, for example see chapter 5 in "OLYMPIC AGENDA 2020, THE BID EXPERIENCE. Evaluation of the Winter Games Bids 2010 – 2018 and Recommendations for the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020", June 2014, by the Austrian, German, Swedish, and Swiss NOCs. Note I don't agree with all these points but it's an interesting submission.


@zekekelso "cities should call their bluff. See if they really mean it." Well argued though I'd perhaps say - let's offer an affordable, smaller games that holds true to the Olympic Movement, the IOC then has an option they can compare to the bigger standard bids.


@Alexjc Queenstown is too small, we would need Auckland or Christchurch to also host.


Helpful posts, thanks to the handles above.

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@StefanMUC the different seasons is an issue, but we are now used to summer Olympics, soccer, rugby and cricket being played in the other hemisphere's off season.

Well yes, I understand that for Southern hemisphere, it's quite usual to see summer sports competitions during their winter. But let's face it - and again, I'd personally like the idea of an NZ Winter Games - the global interest in winter sports is almost exclusively based in the Northern hemisphere, and even there only in about two dozen countries. There's no massive need for the IOC to cater for the southern winter sports audience by once in a while allocating Winter Games there, but such an allocation would mean drastic changes for the very large majority of global audiences, namely the ones in North America, East Asia and Europe.

You can try to overcome this with a smart bid concept, but if you're up against an equally (maybe even slightly less) smart bid from one of those regions, you'll lose out - I dare predicting as much.

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@G_Hunter some excellent ideas. I think I need to revisit the Christchurch section in my report given the accommodation ideas I've seen from you and others.

You're the second person in 48 hours who has brought up a train option between Wanaka and Queenstown so I think that needs to be looked (though graident probably restricts this to gondolas). I'm not sure buses on our existing Christchurch to Queenstown roads will meet IOC requirements but let's see what the Agenda 2020 report says.

Your ideas on bus services within Christchurch is just the sort of transport management that we'll need during the games within the cities.

@StefanMUC the different seasons is an issue, but we are now used to summer Olympics, soccer, rugby and cricket being played in the other hemisphere's off season.

@Nacre and @Lord David the accommodation requirement is 24,200 rooms for the 2022 Olympics (unless I'm misunderstanding your point). I think this needs to be reduced, for example see chapter 5 in "OLYMPIC AGENDA 2020, THE BID EXPERIENCE. Evaluation of the Winter Games Bids 2010 – 2018 and Recommendations for the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020", June 2014, by the Austrian, German, Swedish, and Swiss NOCs. Note I don't agree with all these points but it's an interesting submission.

@zekekelso "cities should call their bluff. See if they really mean it." Well argued though I'd perhaps say - let's offer an affordable, smaller games that holds true to the Olympic Movement, the IOC then has an option they can compare to the bigger standard bids.

@Alexjc Queenstown is too small, we would need Auckland or Christchurch to also host.

Helpful posts, thanks to the handles above.

As you know, money is the issue here...We Kiwis have to spend wisely. What is the long term gain? What infrastructure is needed? Christchurch needs to play a part, if not the true host city, road access to Wanaka and it's airport. Invercargill would also be needed for its airport as an overflow...And where will the money come from? Try telling someone in South Auckland, a population base the same size as the South Island sans ChCh that their taxes will fund what is considered only the better half of middle NZ would ever benefit.

A consideration is a Commonwealth Games is being looked at around this time. A far more inclusive multisport event with Chch being touted as a possible host.

A great idea would be to host the Youth version of the event to get a handle on what is needed for the full edition.

New Zealand does need to host a grand slam event up around 2040, and there is only one event in mind. Even with a projected population of 7 million, it's still touch and go.

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You're probably thinking of a Summer Olympics. The Winter Olympics being a smaller event needs around 30,000 nowadays.

The last two winter hosts have both had (or constructed their up to) 50,000 hotel rooms. And they still had difficulty finding housing for everybody. What do you do with the remaining 40,000 people if you only have 30,000 rooms?

Hosts don't need anything like 50,000 hotel rooms. Oh, the IOC might want it, but they don't need it.

<Grampa Simpson voice>

Way back in 1994 (just not that long ago) Lillihammer hosted the Olympics with few hotel rooms. People day-triped in. And - gasp - people camped. In the snow. And were happy to do so. They walked to veues (uphill, bothways). And everybody loved the Olympics and said they were great.

<voice>

The IOC says they want change. They say they want cheaper games. They say they want to be flexible. They say they want games that are good for the local community. Personally, I think they are full of ****... but cities should call their bluff. See if they really mean it.

Lillehammer hosted in another era before the increase in media and security.

  • Reduce media facilities and the IOC risks its broadcasting product.
  • Reduce security and the host risks another Atlanta or Munich.
  • Reduce the vendor workforce and the sponsors are angry.
  • Reduce the volunteers and the visiting fans are unhappy. (And lost.)
  • Reduce the number of hotel rooms available for fans and the world is unhappy.

It's easy to say that the IOC should reduce the size of the games, but that would also require them to hand money back to their sponsors and/or broadcasters. Or make it really difficult for international fans to attend. Either way it's not at all easy for them to go back to the era when cities like Lillehammer were capable of hosting.

It is much easier for the IOC to change its transportation requirements and/or allow multiple cities in one country to host. Or allow something like the Polish/Slovakian bid for Krakow. That keeps everybody happy while reducing the burden on the host a bit.

Edited by Nacre
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How could a lower number of hotel rooms be a problem? Do you expect 50,000 hotel rooms in every World Cup host city since the minimum seating capacity for stadiums is 40,000? And most hosts go well over that, for a majority of their stadiums? How does meeting the demand for hotel rooms work in that situation?

I'm sure overall, a Christchurch/Queenstown Games, would certainly find innovative solutions to it's accommodation problem. There's certainly no need to go all Sochi and build practically everything from scratch. A good legacy of 15,000 hotel rooms for Christchurch (overall), 5,000 for Queenstown, the media housed in their own village to ease the burden on the host and the remainder solved by a mix of cruise ships, serviced apartments and other forms of accommodation. Every avenue of accommodation potential (like university housing) will be looked upon.

Christchurch will be the primary host, with regular links by road and air to Queenstown. Queenstown will be a secondary host for some alpine events, alongside the ski jump and sliding centre, which would probably be better suited for the town. A curling venue and media centre could potentially serve as a convention centre for the town, whilst Christchurch will serve the main media facility.

We'll just have to see until they do the report to see what combinations (if any) of potential bidding there can be.

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Lillehammer hosted in another era before the increase in media and security.

Lilehammer was 20 years ago... not all that different. Modern media has less need to be *right there* than ever before. New Zealand is probably the easiest place on earth to secrue.

As for rooms - I'm not aware of any housing shortages in Vancouver or Sochi. There would be many fewer in New Zealand, but people don't need to sleep in hotels. They can camp, sleep in dorms, or the good people of New Zealand can open up their homes.

We make things too hard. Many of these "little" probably can be overcome. If the IOC wants (that's the big question)

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That was beside the point. It was a major event that really took the world's attention (well some of it at least, at the time). This was because of the branding of NZ '74, being put on the new Air New Zealand aircraft, therefore giving the Games free exposure.

The organizers obviously did not want to take anything to chance, even if Israel wasn't attending (or even a Commonwealth nation).

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