SARNIA TOPS THE BIG SMOKE
Hoo and boy, as friend/colleague Allan Ryan used to say. Whoda thunk Sarnia would top Toronto in a hotel poll?
Okay, it wasn't about what city has the BEST hotel. But you can bet folks down Sarnia way have their thumbs bursting their suspenders over reports that a web site called hotel.info found that Sarnia was tops in Canada in their VALUE FOR MONEY INDEX.
The company analyzed 600,000 hotel ratings of hotel.info booking customers from around the world in terms of the price performance of three and four-star hotels and came up with value for money index, with 10 being the top available score.
Tops in Canada was Sarnia at 8.75, followed by Jasper at 8.13 and Whistler at 7.88. Mississauga (oh, the pain) was fourth at 7.67 and Ottawa sixth at 7.29. Niagara Falls came seventh with a 7.09 mark, followed by Toronto at 6.99. The 15th spot in Canada was taken by Vancouver with a score of just 6.01, and that's prior to Olympic prices.
Surprising, perhaps, in terms of worldwide scores was that Tokyo topped the list of major cities with a VALUE FOR MONEY INDEX score of 7.84. Lisbon was second at 7.71, followed by Prague at 7.66. Ottawa was seventh in major cities with the 7.29 mark mentioned above and was the only Canadian city in the top 20 value rating. (Mississauga apparently isn't considered a major city; don't tell Hazel).
The company said hotels in major Canadian cities had an index rating of 7.10; well below the 7.42 average scores for all major cities.
Follow this link for a pdf of the full report.
Sounds like some folks got some work to do.
SPEAKING OF THE OLYMPICS
How'd you like that smooth segueway, folks? Was that good?
Yeah, well, whatever. Anyway, the point is that it was fun to see some of the international reports on Vancouver's one-year-to-the-start-of-the-2010-Winter-Olympics party.
The Colorado Springs Gazette spoke with an accountant from Arlington, Texas who was out shopping for Olympic souvenirs; something he noted not many Canadians were doing.
"I don't think people realize the Olympics are coming," said Ron Isbell. "There doesn't seem to be much spirit."
The Rocky Mountain Times noted that "the economy is crashing" and that "cost-cutting measures have been implemented that will eliminate much of the planned feel and atmosphere."
That's probably an overstatement, although ceremonies have been trimmed in Whistler. What must surely rankle the folks out west was this comment, "The word 'debacle' suddenly seems relevant, though Canadians are determined to get the job done."
"Debacle"? That's pretty strong stuff coming from a country that staged the "one minute they're here, the next they're not" 1996 Atlanta Games.