August 3, 2012

"After Warnings of an Olympic Crush, Businesses Suffer in a Deserted London."

Regular tourists, who would have patronized the shops and theaters and so forth, chose to go somewhere else.
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.

26 comments:

Matthew Sablan said...

Disconcerting... but not in the same way it was originally meant. The consequences, they were unintended!

AllenS said...

The Olympics just aren't that interesting anymore. Too much PCness. Plus, there might have been an expectation from the non-goers that the possibility of terrorism was real.

Pogo said...

Romney was right, it turns out.

he has a good diagnostic eye, I'm learning.

Michael K said...

Having the Olympics in London was a bad idea but, like Greece four years ago, the ego trip was too much for the politicians. If they had had most events elsewhere in south eastern England, it would have been much better but that would not feed the ego so well.

When Uberoth did the LA Olympics in 1984, the events were all over southern California. Only the opening and closing were in LA. He got companies to change work hours so traffic was the best in years. The only comparable time for great traffic was the illegal alien boycott a few years ago.

Uberoth and Romney know how to do these big events but then they are not politicians. Romney is just a very competent guy who has decided to do something to save the country. He looks like he might make it.

traditionalguy said...

Somebody needs to quit believing the myth. Beware of Olympic Movement Greeks bearing gifts.

The Olympics is sold to a town by a threat of bringing in so many visitors that the flood of tourists will be the only problem.

That is a sales con job that incites the greed of locals to get rich off of rentals and business from the flood of rich foreigners buying everything.

So by Olympics time everyone has left town and no visitors dare to enter the crushing crowds on the closed streets made into 100 foot wide sidewalks.The local TV warns people for several months that the traffic will be impossible, and veritably orders them to stay out of town.

Lo and behold, the streets are empty. No one makes any money. They are only unpaid extras on a TV set for a world TV show production called the Olympics.

bagoh20 said...

The '84 Olympics in L.A. had a similar phenomenon where the hype about traffic and crowds encouraged many locals to plan on being out of town. It was a wonderful couple weeks here, with smooth traffic and no crowds anywhere there normally would be.

Ed said...

The same thing happened in LA in 1984. Everyone left town because they were worried about crowds. It was wonderful. Traffic was light. You could get into almost any Olympic event.

Haiku Guy said...

1980 - Moscow
1982 - Fall of Soviet Union


1984 - Los Angeles
1992 - Los Angeles Riots


1988 - Seoul
Seoul is actally doing OK...


1992 - Barcelona
2000 - Spain is founding member LOTB (Loyal Order of the Boned)


1996 - Atlanta
2000 - Atlanta still sucks


2000 - Sydney
2005 - Cronulla riots


2004 - Athens
2010 - Greece on verge of default. Leads LOTB.


2008 - Beijing
2012 - Insane China Real Estate Bubble. Ghost cities.


2012 - London
2013 - I suspect London is screwed...

MayBee said...

The Olympic Village itself- which you need a ticket to enter- is a throng of people. There must be 400,000 people there at a time. The Aquatics center, Basketball arena, Athletics stadium, and Water Polo venue are there, and there are places to eat. The only branded restaurant there is McDonalds. All the other food vendors are generically named by type. Once in the village, you can stay and watch the big screen tvs, listen to musicians, or watch them film the Today show,

Just outside the Olympic village is a big mall, and to leave the village you must walk through the outdoor portion of it. But once you leave the village, you can't get back in without that virtually impossible to get ticket.

But all of this is in an area of town fairly well separated from Central London.
In Atlanta, the venues weren't so separated from the city. You could watch water polo, walk over to a local restaurant, then go to weightlifting for the night.

Haiku Guy said...

Oh, and I almost forgot

2016 - Rio De Janeiro
2016 - Rio is pre-screwed, and the Olympics will not make anything better.

Michael K said...

"Rio is pre-screwed, and the Olympics will not make anything better."

Brazil is the country of the future, which never gets here.

MayBee said...

The thing Mitt said about the airport was completely true, although I wish he hadn't said it.

The unions had for months been slowing down the immigration lines with various tactics, and had planned another work slow down for the day before the Olympics. They called that off, supposedly because the government promised more jobs, but the government disputes that. I think they just didn't want to be exposed as jerks.

When they did their slowdowns, people coming off international flights would get stuck in the line for hours. That could have been disastrous during the Olympics.

SteveR said...

Unexpected? Seems to happen a lot these days.

deborah said...

Rio will be fab.

Seeing Red said...

McDonald's is the only one allowed to sell fries. We met a Brit in line at an amusement park earlier this week and got to talking. They decided to vacate and come to the USA.

edutcher said...

As Pogo said.

The Romster knew what to look for and he laid it on the line.

Interesting watching Boris hoist on his own petard.

Literally.

WV "obaarea" What you get from hearing SCOAMF on the news at night.

Thorley Winston said...

The '84 Olympics in L.A. had a similar phenomenon where the hype about traffic and crowds encouraged many locals to plan on being out of town.

Must have been a great time to be a burglar.

ricpic said...

Could the Olympic tradition just plotz already?

raf said...

The EU should take over the olympics, assign them permanently to Greece, outsource management of the enterprise to Disney. Should solve part of their financial problems.

wv: hissmax. Everyone's a critic.

cubanbob said...

raf said...
The EU should take over the olympics, assign them permanently to Greece, outsource management of the enterprise to Disney. Should solve part of their financial problems.

wv: hissmax. Everyone's a critic.

8/3/12 11:11 AM

Excellent idea! Hell if Walt was alive today I would vote to have Congress subcontract the management of the US to Disney. Nice, neat, clean and orderly. Works for me.

cubanbob said...

raf said...
The EU should take over the olympics, assign them permanently to Greece, outsource management of the enterprise to Disney. Should solve part of their financial problems.

wv: hissmax. Everyone's a critic.

8/3/12 11:11 AM

Excellent idea! Hell if Walt was alive today I would vote to have Congress subcontract the management of the US to Disney. Nice, neat, clean and orderly. Works for me.

Anthony said...

I am an American who lives in London.

Central London is dead this week. It is true. Even the Tube, which they claimed as going to be a mess, is not. I have come and gone to the games this week and other than a long but moving post game queue at Wembley Tuesday night and a signal failure that required a change of plan this morning -- nothing, no problems at all.

This morning the Olympic Park was packed as athletics started. But getting in and out was no difficulty.

I do agree though that while it is nice that many of the venues are close together in the Park, the having to ticket to get in (and teh fact that the Park was built far away from anything) means that teh games are somewhat disconnected from London. Wembley (where the 1948 games were held) is surrounded by a neighborhood. The Olympic Park is surrounded by a shopping mall, roads and some canals, all of which were built in past 7 years.

linds said...

@May Bee -- You're absolutely right. I flew into Heathrow in late March, and we sat in the immigration line for almost 3 hours. There were tons of work stations, but they only had 3 or 4 immigration agents working at a time. I watched a group of them hanging out behind the ID check area drinking coffee. I should have known it was union-related.

PikeBishop said...

Same thing happened in Atlanta in 96. Merchants were furious at the planning comittee who warned people for four years that downtown locations would be mobbed, so everyone ate in the suburbs. I walked into a Damon's downtown at 5PM during the games and it was deserted. Strip clubs had hired extra dancers to deal with the crush and many of the girls actually lost money (made less than the dancer's fee the club charges them).

Laika's Last Woof said...

The Olympics aren't really about "finding out who the best is" anymore.
We all know "The Best" ping pong players were the ones disqualified for being Chinese, that "The Best" gymnasts were the ones disqualified for being American.
Now that there's a quota system the Olympics is nothing but empty spectacle.
A bronze medal isn't worth the copper it's made from, and we all know it. If the best people aren't allowed to compete why even watch?
("Beach Volleyball" is only a partial answer ...)

Eric said...

Spending a boatload of money on anything always leads to growth. I mean, we can never know just how deserted those shops been without the Olympics.