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This article is part of our Business in Alberta series where we discuss the economic and business environment in Alberta, Canada.
In our discussion of the Calgary 2026 Olympic bid, Konstruct wants to make it perfectly clear that we are an independent neutral party, we have no vested interest in the Olympic bid other than curiosity. Our research on the topic has been entirely self funded.
Last week my company released our results on our 2026 Olympics Survey for Businesses. I thought the results were interesting: business owners were marginally in favour of the olympic bid. However, the results seemed mixed on if the Olympics would actually positively impact their business.
Benefits like “employment” appears lower in the potential economic benefits than “civic pride”. This combined with the other survey results could lead to an argument that business owners in general aren’t convinced of the possible business impacts.
Why should anyone care what business owners think about the Olympics?
We think there are two very important reasons: economic investment in the region and employment.
The recent investment climate in Alberta and Calgary has been poor at best. This lack of investment has resulted in stagnant economic growth. Investment fuels business growth which directly influences employment.
Taking the pulse on if business owners think that holding the Olympics in Calgary could help stimulate economic investment is an important consideration.
Calgary’s unemployment rate remains high at over 8%. Economic investment and the general outlook of business owners contributes to expansion and employment.
I hope we can all agree that improving employment in the region is a good thing.
If employers were overwhelmingly saying “NO” to the olympics, that would be an important consideration.
I fully understand that these aren’t the only two issues at stake when it comes to the Olympics. Hosting the Olympics is a complex issue with many facets. This is a glimpse in to just some of those facets.
Public Olympic Opinions from Businesses
Without further adieu, here’s a round-up of public opinions business’s have shared about the olympics.
Imagine 2026! We’ve been cheering on Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes since 1988 and we proudly support Calgary’s bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games #FlyTheFlag @YYCGames2026 @TeamCanada #Calgary2026 https://t.co/TStJZMLbHv pic.twitter.com/dFWX4ZJYCm— Air Canada (@AirCanada) November 5, 2018
Four Points by Sheraton Calgary West
City Street Photos
Whatever the outcome of tomorrow I’m proud to have played my small part in supporting the VOTE NO campaign. Thanks to all the #NoCalgary2026 groups and volunteers for their hard work it’s been a real David & Goliath battle but we all know how that turned out eh!— City Street Photos (@FollowCSP) November 13, 2018
***VOTE NO*** pic.twitter.com/tUS0awzOZz
Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame
More accessible facilities and a better home for our @calstampeders, another benefit of thes games! Olympics Would Mean Big Revamp to Calgary's Aging Football Stadium: Bid Corp. | https://t.co/lkiBd1YzMw https://t.co/SV29FnBVji via @ChrisDca— Cheryl Bernard (@cbernardcurler) November 10, 2018
Bob oh boy, the debate around the Olympic plebiscite has been… ummm… interesting… After having a look at things, I'm voting 'yes' with no real hesitation. I think it's a really good deal for our city. I'm looking forward to hearing what Calgarians decide tomorrow!— Richard Einarson 🏳️🌈 (@richardeinarson) November 13, 2018
I've wanted to support a #Calgary2026 Olympics.— Jeff Watson YYC 🇨🇦🇮🇱 (@JeffWatsonYYC) November 13, 2018
After reading all reports, weighing the costs/benefits, I've decided to join 3 voters in my family to vote #NoCalgary2026 in the plebiscite.
I ask you, for a better #yyc future, on Nov 13th, to vote "I am AGAINST Calgary hosting"
BILD Calgary Region
Are you a YES supporter for the 2026 Olympic winter games in Calgary? I am. If you want information about the games go to https://t.co/2EL1bF024t— Guy Huntingford (@guyhuntingford) November 4, 2018
JAMES International Security Consulting
I’m an Olympics supporter and a tentative yes vote. I’ve criticized the yes side repeatedly for not being as transparent and realistic as possible with the costs therefore I must criticize the no side equally for this sham. https://t.co/1UdS2eBkJY— T Lee Humphrey (@tleehumphrey) October 24, 2018
Calgary Sport and Social Club
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Tomorrow is your day, Calgary!! So go out and VOTE! Vote yes to improved accessibility. Vote yes to new and improved facilities. Vote yes to our city being known on the world stage. And vote yes to cheering on our Canadian athletes as they compete and medal on home soil 🇨🇦🥇🥈🥉#vote #yyc #olympics #paralympics #calgary2026 #csscblackgold #whynotsynchro
Calgary Real Estate Team
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Fingers crossed we get a huge turnout in support of the 2026 Olympic Games!! #calgary #olympics #2026 askthecret #calgary #calgaryrealestate #yyc #yycrealestate #calgaryhomes #yycre #thecalgaryrealestateteam.com #canada #canadarealestate #alberta #albertarealestate #library #architecture #buildings #amazing #reading #millionswellspent
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Calgary 2026 – Rekindle the ﬂame to deliver an exemplary games that engages our youth, builds vibrant communities and warmly welcomes the world. Remember to vote and share your voice on Nov 13. Visit: www.calgary2026.ca/ to stay informed. #calgary2026 #olympics #vote #injuryrecovery #injuryprevention #sportsinjures #yyc #yycnow #yycliving #yychealth #yycfit #yycnow #chiropractor #downtownyyc #massagetherapy #naturopathicmedicine #physiotherapy #acupuncture #integrativehealth #dreamteam
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Remember this moment?! It's time to rally for #Calgary2026! • Join #eddietheeagle, @mrdonovanbailey, @davekellylive_ , @cassiecampbell77, Hidy and Howdy (Calgary's 1988 Mascots) and many others to help drive the #yescalgay2026 movement as we lead up to the November 13th vote. • There is a spectacular line up for this event, with speeches, Q&A and videos from athletes including @tessavirtue17 and @scottmoir14. Plus, fun entertainment by international sports entertainer @cameroncheers. • Show your spirit and create a legacy for the next generation in Calgary by joining us on Monday at noon at the Calgary Telus Convention Centre! Check our story for more details!
” I support it personally and professionally. Personally there is no greater sporting event in the world than both the Summer and Winter Olympics. It’s the one event that genuinely brings the world together.” – Ed Sims, CEO
Remington Development Corporation
“I think any deal has to stand on its two feet financially first to support it. Looking at what’s in front of us to have 10 to 15 cent dollars into the deal to realize the improvements to the existing assets that we have that are going to be exposed to 100 per cent dollars for Calgarians if we don’t do this deal is very significant.” – Cody Clayton, President
“It’s important that we all participate in the debate, ask all the right questions in this most important decision we all have to make as Calgarians leading up to the plebiscite. We have first and foremost the best leader leading this. In the 80s, it was Frank King. Today it’s Scott Hutcheson (chair of the Calgary Olympic Bid Corporation for the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics). I’m a big believer in great leaders and I have trust in Scott.” – Sam Kolias, CEO
“I think that any smart business person would make the decision to invest $390 million (by the City of Calgary) to get back $4 billion. It seems like it is the exact kind of scenario that any entrepreneur would say that’s a great investment and that’s a great deal.” – Megan Szanik, Owner
Nick’s Steakhouse & Pizza
“We’re supporting it because I saw how it transformed Calgary and Calgarians last time . . . It’s such a fantastic situation, especially now if we get some extra funding coming in.” – Mark Petros, Owner
“I’m a civic booster. I’m a big believer in Calgary. I moved here (from Toronto) because I was a big believer in Calgary. I’m just watching right now and it feels like Calgarians are having a really hard time and that the fear primarily because of an industry in a bad spot, which happens to be our foundational industry that supports so much including the arts and sports, is having a tough time and therefore their tough time is our tough time as a city.” – Jim Button, Co-founder