Vancouver is to be the host of the 2010 Olympics and it has caused extra problems for Vancouver, imho. For one, the housing bubble got grossly excessive, certainly exceeding Florida's bubble, although Los Angeles was worse.
Mish has a post on the Bejing Olympics and how it didn't do for businesses what they thought it would do.
Being from Vancouver and having seen the outcome of Expo 86, well, I think Mish is right that expectations are going to fall flat.
When Expo 86 happened Vancouver was at an historical affordability level in housing that may very well have been unpresidented. There had been a very harsh housing bubble around 1980 and quite a few people had been hurt and many were very cautious about housing. In 86 I saw one bedroom condos in the 30k price range, and those same condos are in the 400k price range now, but wages are hardly up at all, or perhaps wages have been stagnant in some occupations. I think some occupations are paying the same as in the 80s whereas some have perhaps doubled.
People remember the boom after Expo and how much housing went up after Expo. I have referred to the seven years following Expo as the quarter million dollar housing lottery. If you had a house that is roughly what you gained. People expect the same kind of thing, the Olympics are going to drive prices even higher. They completely fail to consider that the affordability index was probably about 2 then and it has peaked at 8 or 9 now, and it was a 2 for twice the home.
So, with things so affordable, well, things were also far more affordable for business. Now things are so expensive business just doesn't have the same opportunity to make the same margin at all.
It has served to hold Vancouver's housing market up longer then most other markets in North America, but the last 3 or 4 months prices have been coming down...
So often people fail to consider the bigger picture and I think this Olympics is going to be very costly for some business men.