2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics

Vancouver Airport already planning for the Olympics to be over

Talk about planning ahead. The Vancouver 2010 Winter Games haven’t even started, but months ago officials at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) started making plans for the day the games end.

It makes sense. During the games, athletes and fans will come and go. So there will be crowds at the airport, but it shouldn’t be too overwhelming.

But once the closing ceremonies take place, everyone will be ready to clear out. And on the day after the games end, YVR expects to have its biggest traffic day ever.

But the airport is ready. Officials know everyone will be so anxious about the crowds at the airport that they’re going to try to arrive extra early. So early that they may end up hanging around the airport for hours. And that will muck up the works.

So in an attempt to keep folks with early hotel check-out times but late afternoon or evening flights from showing up at the airport too early, the airport has asked all area hotels to offer late check-out on the day after the closing ceremonies.

They’re also asking the hotels to place this sign on everyone’s door.

Will it help?  We’ll find out soon enough.

But city-wide late check-out on the day after a big event?  Now that’s a great idea.

Alaska Airlines unveils an Apolo Ohno plane

Alaska Air Apolo Ono

Seattle is pretty proud of Apolo Anton Ohno, who began his speed-skating career here when he was just 14 and went on to win numerous world and national championships and five Olympic medals.  (Oh yeah, he was also on the Dancing with the Stars TV show.)

Now he’s getting ready for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics games.

To cheer him on, Alaska Airlines has painted one of its Boeing 737-800 with a giant image of Ohno and, during the unveiling yesterday at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, handed out Ohno trading card, copies of Ohno’s signature bandana, and press-on faux facial hair (in honor of Ohno’s infamous “soul patch.”) .

Sadly, I missed that gala event, but like everyone else I can now “Follow Apolo” on a special web site that will track his progress.

Alaska Airlines big OHNO

Get Olympics souvenirs – and some quiet time – at Vancouver Int’l Airport

I’m a big fan of the Vancouver International Airport.

It has lots of great art, a couple of spas, play areas for kids, and a nice selection of restaurant and shops, including (already!) boutiques where you can stock up on official souvenirs, clothing, mascots and collectibles for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

The airport also has a hotel – the Fairmont Vancouver Airport – which showed up as the #4 hotel in Canada on the most recent Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards.

What got this airport hotel on the list? I’m not sure, but maybe it’s the 575 cubic-foot, fish freezer for travelers heading home from fishing trips. Or maybe it’s the short-stay “Quiet Zone” floor where everyone tiptoes around from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m and no one is allowed to knock on your door.