[photopress:olympicsposter.jpg,full,alignright]Intercontinental Hotels will manage the Beijing Olympic Center’s first luxury hotel. The 350-room Intercontinental Beijing North will be developed by Beijing North Star Company, one of China’s leading property groups and a key player in the development of Beijing’s Asian Games and Olympics centers.The hotel will be close to the proposed National Convention Center, which will be the capital’s largest convention venue.
InterContinental aims to have 125 hotels open in China by the end of 2008. And 2008, be reminded, is the year of the Olympics which will be massive, huge, beyond easy comprehension. The number of people who will be watching and who will be involved are frightening.
All of which is a bit different to the first modern Olympic Games. They started because Baron Pierre de Coubertin though the reason for the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871) was a lack of physical development on the part of the French. So they should have an Olympic Games to make the lazy French sods more worthy of their country.
In 1896 the first Olympic Games was held in Athens. There were less than 250 athletes and not that many more spectators hotel accommodation was not a problem. The second Olympic Games took place in Paris and were much more organized with women competing.
For the 2008 games some random figures to give the potential size:
200 countries and regions will participate in the Beijing Olympic Games.
Equipment for athletes, officials and reporters will top 1.2 million.
More than 75,000 tons of equipment and facilities will need to be transported by over 2,000 vehicles.
For the athletes there will be 360,000 sq m of apartments in the Olympic garden.
The cost for removing and treating the household garbage collected from these flats will be around RMB1.08 billion (about $130.5 million).
At which point you are dealing with numbers which are difficult to comprehend. The old cliche that the eyes of the world will be turn on China will most certainly hold true. And the InterContinental Hotels Group will be judged on international standards. With 59 hotels — many more will open before the event — it has an amazing task, and an amazing opportunity, ahead of it.