Question about Olympics in Atlanta...

Old Aug 24th, 2004, 01:05 PM
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Question about Olympics in Atlanta...

Did visitors/potential visitors to those games complain about the hotel and ticket prices as bitterly as they have about those in Greece? Sadly, the main thing I remember about those games is the bombing.
Old Aug 24th, 2004, 01:12 PM
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So what is your point? You don't like Greece? The main thing you remember is a bit negative.
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 01:19 PM
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Jor, I'm asking a question. Did people visiting Atlanta, or thinking of visiting, complain that prices were extremely, unreasonably high for hotels and events, as they have about Greece? As a matter of fact, I think I would love Greece, and it's on my "must visit" list. I don't think I'm alone in remembering the bombing in Atlanta....... sadly! When I hear Atlanta Olympics, that pops into my mind. Is there a problem this beautiful day? I was simply asking a question.
Old Aug 24th, 2004, 01:48 PM
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I agree that my first thought is the bombing of the Atlanta games - it certainly overshadowed everything else. (I don't know much about games before the 80's, but I know the Munich games b/c of the massacre of the Israeli athletes.)

That aside, from what I heard the Atlanta games were widely panned in the international community and the IOC for having lots of details not in order --especially transportation, being overly commercialized, and not having a very international feel. The sign of this was the old IOC president at the closing games did not announce that it was the "best games ever", something he did for every other games he presided over.

I don't recall a lot of complaints about ticket/hotel prices, but in America that is probably not as big of a deal as a much less wealthy and smaller country such as Greece. Also, if the Greece games had sold more tickets, nobody would be talking about it, but people are now looking for reasons/excuses to explain the empty seats.
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 01:51 PM
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To get to the point, Athens and the rest of the Mediterranian region has two price lists in restaurants and shops. I have visited the region several times and it is well known that they have a menu and price list for tourists, and an unwritten menu or price list for locals. The prices for tourists are always higher and they are doing this during the Olympics as has been widely reported. I hope you enjoy Greece when you go there but don't let them fool you. Glad you clarified your question. Have fun in Greece.
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 02:24 PM
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The Atlanta Olympics were marred by price-gouging. Atlanta had only 55,000 hotel rooms, and 2 million visitors, so many stayed in private apartments and homes and paid a fortune for lodging. The cost of everything was horribly inflated. You can read plenty about it if you do a web search on "Atlanta Olympics price gouging."
As for the cost of events, I remember how they handled those opening ceremonies. You had to pay in advance (a fortune - hundreds of dollars, if not $1,000), then be in a lottery. If your name was drawn, you got to go. If not, you got your money back without interest.
Hosting the Olympics isn't an easy proposition!
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 02:40 PM
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Interestingly 6-7 wks. ago I did an Expedia search for air/hotel to Athens but put in Aug. 2004 instead of 2005. Wow was I shocked until I realized my mistake. The price was nearly halved by inserting 2005. So of course one has to expect ski high prices for such events. The point here as I see it is not anti-Hellenic. It was simply a comparison of cost relative to other Olympics. BTW a friend of mine went to SLC in 2002 and simple accomodations( a Comfort inn or the like) around 25 mi. away was about $250.00 per night. Yikes! And honestly Jor I think you make little sense. First you rip Bonnie as being anti-Hellenic then you implicate them as well as the rest of the Med. for having a double standard. I've been in the Med before and I saw none of that anywhere we went. JM2C
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 05:14 PM
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We were driving into Georgia on our way to the Olympics when they interrupted the radio program with the breaking news of the bombing.

Our motel was $400 a night and it was gross, but we were happy to get a room.
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 05:26 PM
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I lived in Atlanta during the Olympics. Different things survive in my memory than what the rest of you seem to remember. The many out of town friends and relatives crashing on my floor. The easy availability of tickets. The sense of friendliness and cameraderie between visitors, locals and generally everyone who was moving about town in that period. The walk from the MARTA station to the stadium--there were dozens of vendor tents along the way, all of them blasting the same music. When you came off the subway, you were looking downhill and all you could see was masses of people who looked like they were doing the same dance in unison. When you got past the tents, you saw why--the music they were blasting over and over was the YMCA song, and, yes, the whole world knew the YMCA "dance" and was doing it as they walked along. The young man whose shoulder my nose was smashed into on the MARTA, who smilingly explained that, in his country, we would now have to get married after being so close. And, the one bad memory, the morning after the one night I didn't go to Centennial Park for the end of day party: my mother calling because she'd heard about the bombing and wanted to make sure I was OK. Being in an Olympic city during the games is magical, and you get to miss most of the bad stuff and just have the fun.
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 05:42 PM
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And so what if they charge tourists more? Lots of places do that - theme parks have special deals only for locals/in-state residents, HI has deals for locals. That is business - if locals won't pay higher prices b/c they have a better knowledge of local competition or simply can't afford it, it makes sense to give them a discount.

And in my post about Atlanta I didn't mean to imply anything bad about the people of Atlanta - the planners/ organizers are a very small group of people.
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 05:59 PM
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I was at the Atlanta Olympics and have many recollections. The bombing is not in the top 3.
Anyone who has any experience with the Olympics (or the Super Bowl or NCAA basketball or any number of other big sporting events) knows that price gouging is part of the deal. If you want to outwit the gougers you have to be prepared and do your homework.
We had a great room on the concierge floor at one of the best hotels in Buckhead for $335/nt.
We got top qulity seats to all the major events we wanted to see without purchasing in advance.
Restaurants? Well, there's no easy solution there that I know of.

For the most part the people who "complain bitterly" as you say, are inexperienced at working the system.
It is totally unfair to the nation of Greece to imply that any such issues are unique to that country. It's a part of every Olympics, some worse than others. And if you went to Athens today you could purchase great tickets at face value and get a good hotel room at a reasonable rate.

My strongest memories of the 1972 Olympics are not of the snipers and murders. I refuse to allow terrorism and politics to discolor my memories of the Olympics. I remember the indescribable international camraderie (something you have to experience in order to appreciate), pageantry and beauty of the events. That's what the Olympics are (supposed to be) all about.
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 06:05 PM
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"It is totally unfair to the nation of Greece to imply that any such issues are unique to that country"

Travleis, I was not implying any such thing. I was simply asking a question!
Old Aug 24th, 2004, 06:07 PM
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Crys, I saw the Atlanta Olympics in the same way you did. I had a great time there and it was one of the highlights of our 9 year stay in Atlanta. A lot people I know volunteered and and were thrilled to do it. I volunteered also(I stll have the complete uniform), and got to go to the rehersal of the Opening day ceremony,,,it was awesome! I never liked Atlanta more than during it's Olympics....the downtown was so wonderful, it was like a giant street fair...I LOVED it! Most of the out of town people I encountered had a grand time also. One thing you would not see in Atlanta was EMPTY SEATs. The tkts were no more expensive then any other pro sport venue IMO. Quite a few corporations rented out homes in our neighborhood...both sides seemd satisfied. I think you will find both pro and cons of all the Olympic cities, not just Atlanta.
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 06:11 PM
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Interesting thread. I went to the Atlanta Games as well. I can recall my best friend and I on the phone when the order forms came out and we strategized to get our tickets. We were so excited.

I was in a dance club when the bombing happened. They had been showing the Games on the big screen tv's and no one could believe what they were seeing. I was leaving the next day for Atlanta (from Tampa). I remember being sick to my stomach and people telling me not to go but I said no way was I going to let that stop me.

I met my friend in southern Georgia and we drove up to Atlanta. I had driven to Atlanta before and was prepared for the nightmare of all nightmares with traffic but was shocked to see it running so well given the circumstances. The Olympic people did a great job organizing the staging area for parking and transporting people close to the sites.

I have really fond memories of the Atlanta games. Although there were some somber moments like viewing the spontaneous memorial that seemed to grow and grow by the bombing site, I remember the kindness of strangers and the pure fun of people from around the world just laughing and dancing in the streets and enjoying things.

I hope that is what the experience is for people in Athens. I know I sound like I am going to break out in Kumbaya now but geez sometimes you have to share the good stuff that happens in this world.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 06:50 AM
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It is always a matter of supply and demand. Whenever there is a huge event going on anywhere, the prices go up. Much like on Valentines Day, the menu's change in most restaurants to a preset menu with a higher dollar fee.

I agree with vacationdreamer about local prices. I know Florida has a different rate at most of their hotels for local Floridians than they do for tourists from different states or countries. It is actually a nice thing to do and makes people want to visit within their own state. I know I would take advantage of this if I lived in Florida.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 10:54 AM
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jacketwatch, did it occur to you that you never saw the restaurant gauging of tourists because you got the tourist menu? That would be the one written in English. Just a kindly little tip for your next travel adventure.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 12:27 PM
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Jor: The languages on the menus were in English and whatever the native language is of the country we were in. Honestly after more than 2 decades of traveling this is the first I have ever head of this and I read about travel whenever I can be it it guide books, magazines, newspaper articles, etc. as well as talking travel as often as I can as this is one of my passions and this menu switching you suggest is the first time I have ever heard of this practice. Maybe its the places one eats at but as a widespread, common practice I find this incredible. No offense, JM2C.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Hello Bonniebroad:

I am peeking in,lurking and skimmimng but wanted to answer your querry...

I attended the Atlanta, LA, Calif, and Sydney Olympics. For some all the tickets were "pricey" and hard to come by for certain events. Mind you their are hundreds of events to select from and the loudest crys come from those who want "Olympic Something" for nothing.
An example would be anything with "Final or Semi-final and even quarter-final" for some popular events.
Many Olympic events are free. It does require that you take the 18 months before the actual Olympics to start your research to find and keep track of the free events. With this amount of planning you may also volunteer and see even more events for free.

Housing, dining, transportation, drinking, souv's, phone calls and all other items associated with travel to a world class event or destination is expensive and sure people do complain but NO ONE CARES.

For all three Olympics I rented a house which was not cheap. I also spent a month in each destination except in LA, CA.

I did not complain then or now. I was just glad and thankful to be so blessed to be able to go, see, do and enjoy!

The bombing was significant for our family as the base of that tower was where we sat in Olympic Park because it was easy for all of us to meet their.
That evening we reluctantly went to our house to get some much needed rest as we attended 2 to 3 events per day plus had breakfast, lunch and dinner at nice restaurants. Our rented home was a few Marta stops and a bus ride away in Stone Mountain hence, meals at "home" was not an option. Packing and lugging around several "fermenting" lunches around the very HOT Atlanta was also not in our plans. We did plan for, budget and had made many dining reservations in advance of our visit.

Bonniebroad: If you attend any major sports event( World Series, Kentucky Derby, Basketball/Baseball Playoffs, Tennis, Golf and other tournaments) you will find folks complaining...I try and stay away from those folks.

P.S. I too LOVE Greece but could not go their and to all of our other travel destinantions this year. Beijing in 2008 is in our plans!

Oaktown Traveler
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 01:24 PM
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OaktownTraveler, I'm aware of how expensive major sporting events are........ just attending a Carolina Hurricanes game and buying a hot dog requires that you sell your first-born!

I guess I asked the question originally because I saw so many empty seats at these games, and wondered if they were REALLY that much more expensive to attend than previous games, hence, the empty seats. I believe worries about security may have contributed to the empty seats as much as prices, probably.

Thanks, everybody, for your responses. I loved hearing all the happy memories.......... sounds like a wonderful experience overall to have been there in Atlanta!
Old Aug 25th, 2004, 01:47 PM
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A colleague just returned from Athens and had nothing but raves. His wife passed away about 6 weeks ago and he wanted to take his 17 year old son in order to get away. Price wasn't a concern for him but he didn't indicate to me that he felt "gouged."

If anything, he indicated that they had put measures in place to prevent gouging on things like bottled water. He didn't find his hotel to be terribly expensive, considering his last minute booking, and tickets were easy to come by.

His take was that the ticket prices weren't high by the standards of most of Western Europe, but for the standards of Greece, one of the poorer countries in Europe, the price for locals was high.

His take on it, which mirrors articles I've read, is that attendance is less than expected because of the bad press related to the delays in finishing large portions of the construction projects and the concerns over terrorism.
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