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  •  Businesses Suffer in a Deserted London (5+ / 0-)
    LONDON — After a week of unusually quiet streets, idling cabs and easily navigated shops, fears of the Gridlock Games have transformed into complaints about the Ghost Town Olympics.

    Experts say tens of thousands of foreign tourists without tickets to the Olympic Games appear to have decided to skip London, bowing to official warnings of stifling overcrowding — a forecast that ignored the lessons of other Olympic host cities that have emptied out during the Games over the past 20 years. In even larger numbers, these experts say, Britons themselves, including tens of thousands who normally commute to work in London, have heeded official appeals and stayed home.

    . . .

     Normally crowded sidewalks in areas like Knightsbridge, Oxford Street, Bond Street, Piccadilly and Soho have looked much as they do when the city empties for summer weekends. Tables at sidewalk cafes have gone begging, and tickets to the West End’s normally sold-out hit shows are readily available, often at 20 percent discounts.

    Cabdrivers complain that business is down 30 percent from normal at this time of year. “Where are the million extra visitors that we were promised?” asked Steve McNamara, a spokesman for the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association. He coupled this with a palpable absence of the national pride Mr. Cameron has urged on a nation hosting its first Olympics since 1948. “I’m looking forward to the closing ceremony,” on Aug. 12, Mr. McNamara said.
    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    •  What's the Net Expectations for the Games $$ ? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999, jj32, JeffW

      Profit or loss to the city?

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 12:12:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Expectations (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JML9999, jj32, nellgwen, JeffW, I love OCD

        Most hosts of Olympics lose money, despite the "expectations" that the expenses of hosting will be offset by increased business.

        Nevertheless:

        Jeremy Hunt, the culture and sport minister in the Cameron cabinet, said Thursday that people who saw the Olympics as an economic body blow were premature and taking too narrow a view. The government now acknowledges that there is unlikely to be any short-term boost from the Games. It has reassured those nervous about its outlay on the Games — put at about $15 billion by government officials and as high as $20 billion by some experts, with road, railway and other improvements factored in — that the expense will be recouped in the long term by a $20 billion boost in Britain’s trade.
    •  The deserted streets of London make me think (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, JML9999, nellgwen, JeffW

      of a Monty Python sketch where everyone was turned into Scotsmen so aliens could win at Wimbledon. The city was emptied and only a lone Scottish kilt maker, Agnus Pudgorney, could save the day.

      Many people thought Bush was "the kind of guy you wanted to have a beer with". People are beginning to realize that Romney is "the kind of guy you want to pour a beer on".

      by ontheleftcoast on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 12:14:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Long piece on NPR the other day (7+ / 0-)

        about the dubious track record of economic benefits to cities hosting the games.  

        My thought, though, was that much of the infrastructure improvements that typically run up the tab, are really deferred maintenance that cities ought to have been funding all along, but would never get around to without a big deadline to create the urgency.   Not all of them, of course -- I don't know that citizens really NEED huge new arena complexes -- but fancying up streets and parks and waterways isn't such a bad thing.  Even if it doesn't have a direct ROI.  

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 12:24:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So, Chicago dodged the bullet, sort of? n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lgmcp

          Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

          by JeffW on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 12:32:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Probably yes, was the gist (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JeffW

            except for my thought about whether citizens reap much-needed infrastructure benefits, even where projected tourism and trade dollars fail to materialize in the short run.

            "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

            by lgmcp on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 12:55:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I doubt Chicago would have reaped... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lgmcp

              ...much in the way of infrastructure improvements, since many of the venues were planned to be near the downtown area, which has had beaucoup infrastructure work done on it since before I started with the City in 1983. Parts of the City that could benefit would have been untouched.

              Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

              by JeffW on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 01:36:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Graham Chapman's Scientist Character (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ontheleftcoast, nellgwen, JeffW

        Kept saying "I don't know"

        Given the nature of the Blancmange creatures I suspect the sketch was an homage to this movie X:The Unknown(1956)

        Character actor Dean Jagger playing a physicist and his  running line was "I don't know"

        Not blaming Bush for the mess we're in, is like not blaming a train engineer for a fatal train wreck because he's no longer driving the train.

        by JML9999 on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 12:25:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  More chicken sex. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JML9999, nellgwen, JeffW

        . . . from Julie, Julia. "Oh, well. Boo-hoo. Now what?"

        by 88kathy on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 12:29:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  These major events seem to be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW

      economic losers. I read that the contraction in Britain's economy was worse last quarter because of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. I would think money spent on the celebration(by the city, tourists, people who already live there, etc) would at least partially offset lost productivity or whatever caused the loss, but I guess not.

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