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There Could Be Some Mighty Confused (And Angry) Travelers Showing Up In Vancouver For The Olympics

Just imagine this nightmare scenario: after making the long trip to Vancouver, British Columbia – arriving at the airport four hours early, making your way through security, boarding the plane only to discover you are seated next to some 500 pound woman with irritable bowel syndrome, flight transfers, painstakingly getting through customs, etc.  – just so you can be there to witness the majesty and splendor of the 2010 Winter Games; you, exhausted and weary from your travels, go to check into your room at the Vancouver Hilton, only to find out that they have no reservation under your name.

This cannot be right! You have your itinerary right there and it plainly states that you have booked a room at the Vancouver Hilton! Jeez Louise and for cryin’ out loud, what in tarnation is going on here? What’s that?  Uh-oh, there is but one problem: although you did in fact book a room at a Vancouver Hilton, you unknowingly made your reservations with the Hilton in Vancouver, WASHINGTON.

Great googly moogly.

Employees at the Vancouver Hilton in Washington are doing their very best to ensure that prospective guests who have booked rooms at their hotel during the Olympics are aware they made reservations at the hotel in the city of Vancouver, Washington, located 250 miles to the south of  the city where the Games will take place.  Of course, despite this, chaos is likely to ensue to some extent. And the general manager of the Hilton in Washington – as well as the city’s mayor – are more than happy to seize the moment and take advantage of the attention their town of 165,000 residents is currently receiving because of potential mixups.

“We absolutely want them to come here,” Gerry Link, the hotel’s general manager said, adding of the Vancouver mix-ups: “So far it has all been pretty good-natured.”

“We don’t want anyone to be disappointed. We want the Olympics to be a good experience for everyone,” Link said.

Vancouver, Washington, is used to playing second fiddle. It has long been overshadowed by its larger neighbor Portland which sits just across the Columbia River in Oregon.

The confusion with the Canadian city happened even before the Olympics, but American Vancouver’s new mayor thinks the Games present his community with an opening.

“We think this is a gold-medal opportunity for our Vancouver to stand out… It gives us an opportunity to tell who we are and what we have to offer,” Tim Leavitt said.

Indeed. Did you know that, according to the city’s website, that Vancouver, WA has the oldest living apple tree in the Pacific Northwest? I did not, but now I know, and knowing is half the battle…

G.I. Joe!

Oops, wrong Vancouver [Reuters]