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October 28, 2017 5:36 am

Athletes Village Offers Food, Fun and Medical Assistance

Thursday, February 26, 2015 @ 1:22 PM

Prince George, B.C. – The Prince George Civic Centre is  a world unto its own  during the Canada Winter Games.  It is the official  Athletes Village, a place where  athletes are fed,  can have  fun and  medical attention  if needed.The Main Gymnasium at the Civic Centre has been turned into one mega cafeteria,  capable of seating 700 people at one time. 2015-02-26 11.26.38 “The largest group  we’ve had was 1650 in one hour” says Lana Keim, Chair of the Athletes Village and venue lead.

“It’s a very efficient operation” says Keim, who says there are 22 Red Seal Chefs  in the kitchen along with 72 staff  with 65 brought on  specifically  for the Games.  We’ve had lots of great compliments about the  quality of food and the efficiency of the service, they’ve been able to manage allergies and preferences and special orders, they’ve  just been outstanding  in their service to the athletes.”   While  most meals are special ordered for the athletes by  their  coaches,  Keim says there is one  food item that’s a hit with  these  young competitors “Pizza, they all like pizza.”

2015-02-26 11.31.42(at left,  TeamBC Hockey player Nolan Kneen,  figure skaters Hannah Dawson from Hawkesbury Ontario  and Cory Circelli  of Vaughn Ontario wait for  bagels)

Upstairs, the second floor of the Civic Centre  has been transformed into  a medical  centre where  pulled muscles, sport injuries,  and a variety of  minor  illnesses can be  treated.  Compete with command centre that link BC Ambulance Service, St. Johns Ambulance and the venues,  the medical team is   linked to the  activities, and  can respond quickly. “We have had eleven ambulance calls  over 14 Days”  says Rob Stewart   who had worked  with Vanoc during the 2010  Olympics, and is the Chair of Medical Services for the Games. One of those calls was  this morning,  when  a person suffered acute respiratory distress.

Stewart says there have been 1,000 visits to the  medical treatment area  which is called the Poly Clinic. “There’s actually more medical done here than all the venues combined” says Stewart.

Joanne Archer is an RN ” Our aim is to  deal with minor injuries and illness to mitigate the impact on UHNBC.  Our aim is not to be  an emergency unit or  acute care facility.  We see  roughly 50 to 70  injuries a day for therapy.  Some of them are acute, and many  are actually older injuries  that have flared up a little bit with the  type of activity.”

(at right, therapists treat a couple of patients in the Therapy  Room )2015-02-26 11.44.06 

And then  there’s a space that’s all about relaxation and unwinding.

Elyse Elmslie is the lead  for the  Athletes Lounge.  In setting up the  area in the Prince George Library for the athletes,  she says the Canada Winter Games turned to UNBC’s  Residence group  for ideas.  The space for athletes  includes  big screen t.v.’s, video games,  comics, even a nerf gun fight night  “We have a games night, a casino night coming up tonight with prizes the athletes can win prizes, we’ve had daily  yoga,  we’ve also had movie nights and all sorts of  passive  events such as board games.  What we’ve been going for is trying to  create  the  basement hangout kind of atmosphere, away from all the hype and excitement. and just kind of relax and defuse after a competition.”

Below,  left,  some  Nova Scotia athletes  dance along to “Walk This Way” in the Athletes lounge:

2015-02-26 11.57.07 Overall the Athletes Village  and the City of Prince George have been a hit  says 17 year old trampoline  athlete Nathan Shuh  from Elmira Ontario, “I’m blown away  by the people in Prince George,  they have been so friendly,  so hospitable, it has been a fantastic  experience.”



It’s just too bad the food at the athletes village is all from one of the largest Foodservice distributors in the world out of the U.S. Also, the city brought in 20 food trucks from out of P.G. to serve everyone. That is the reason our restaurants have been dead the last couple of weeks. We get all this hype about how this is going to help business here and then they go and give all the business to out of town companies.

Amazeing what one can do with taxpayers money.

20 food trucks ? I counted 5 from out of town at the civic center. Canfor, the lost and found, aren’t selling food . Are ther others at different outside venues maybe ?

Dougie from doggies dog is donating money from the sales of one of his hotdogs to the PG brain injured group.

So bring in the cheapest bidder for food and they get blasted..lol. If they would have gone local and paid more then some ppl would complain about that..lol.

I have been down to the civic center numerous times and there are usually line ups for food..guess not everyone is staying at home in protest.. I have gone to eaten at several sit down restaurants and they all have seen a increase in business.

Can’t wait for the men’s gold medal game :)

It is unfortunate that restaurants were told to hire more staff and open for more hours, That is a Canada Games mistake. But the restaurants’ mentality that “if you open it, people will come” is just dense. What have restaurants done to market themselves? Why aren’t they at the venues providing location information, menus, and coupons? Don’t blame the vendors. There are thousands of people here to watch the games who need a sit down dinner locale. Vendors are great for a quick bite, but that’s it, The fault is partly the restaurants own

Gfreegirl is correct. Those that sat back and expected to reap the rewards are suffering. In the news, Kelly O’s was quiet so they went down and marketed themselves, now they are enjoying a 30% increase. If you figured just having your doors open was going to guarantee business then you need a course in marketing and business management. If you brought in more staff and more stock then what were you basing those numbers on? Gut feelings? Did you do research and find out that the athletes were being fed by the games? Did you research the disposable income of the demographic of people coming into town? Did you contact similar restaurants in other communities that have held the games?
No one to blame but themselves if they are suffering. There are many restaurants that are doing very well – you just don’t hear about them as much because they are not whining lol

Timmy besides it is sure bringing in the business..and they aren’t even a sponsor… (unless I missed it somewhere)

Nancy O’s and Copper Pig was real busy. I don’t know how much advertising they did, but people talk and it was full.

the 48 North, walked by one early evening, not a soul in the restaurant.

Its all about advertising.

Kind of a double whammy. The locals, who do know which restaurants are good, stay away because they think it’s going to be busy, and the visitors, who don’t know which are good, and which aren’t, go to the franchises because they are familiar with them and what to expect. I mean, if you went to Red Deer and saw a restaurant called North 52, would you eat there just by looking in the window, or would you go to tried and true White Spot? I don’t think they can blame the winter games though, if the river has fish, and you don’t stick a pole in, oh well, too bad so sad I guess.

I must admit went down at lunch time to get a Dougie Dog Mac & Cheese Dog. Did feel guilty that the local food truck vendor had no one buying anything and the Dougie Dog was more than busy.

I figure I do the majority of my purchases locally from small shops and bought my vehicle locally that I can purchase a hot dog from an out of town vendor :)

So why is there no where to sit down at a table and eat anything a person might have purchased to eat ?

Plus the bathrooms as part of the outdoor structure were locked ! Here it is the busiest time downtown that PG has ever seen and still it doesn’t qualify to have the washrooms unlocked. The lights were on, but not allowed in.

When you consider that the main hotels offered rooms that included breakfast in the rate you can see why some restaurants were not getting customers. Furthermore food was available at the various functions for those who were judging, coaching, participating, etc, so that took a lot of the customers out of the equation. When people were finished with their events they returned to their hotels and basically ate in that area, and of course the athletes ate at the Civic Centre. So all in all not that many people around town using the available facilities.

When you consider that people who normally come to Prince George on the week-end, etc; stayed away because of the perceived shortage of hotel/motel rooms, you begin to see why a lot of restaurants, and a number of motels were feeling the pinch. Quite a few motels had vacany signs up all during the games.

Once you elimate the volunteers, who are mostly local, and who would eat at home, take away the athletes who eat at the Civic Centre, take away the judges, coaches, managers, and familys etc; who booked rooms at hotels that included breakfast in the cost of the room and you don’t have much left.

I would think that very few people who were not associated with the games came to Prince George during the games, and those who did were offset by the people who went on holidays during this time period.

So a good event for the athletes which was great, however for a number of hotels/motels and restaurants, I would say these games were a **bust**.

Infusion of cash into the economy would mostly come from taxpayers, donations, and Prov/Fed Governments.

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