Let It Be
I was intrigued by an article on the BBC local news last night about the scramble for accommodation for the Olympic games. It seemed an odd piece to run on that particular programme because the majority of its viewership presumably won’t be having to resort to tents on a caravan site in Essex or bunk up onboard a German cruise ship. I’d give you the link but as usual BBC TV and its own website don’t seem to have bothered talking to each other and there are different stories on the telly than online again.
But it got me thinking about those people who are going to be getting the hell out during the games and taking the cash instead. There’s already a bit of a scramble for your house – at least if the agents who have contacted me are anything to go by.
And it is a potential moneyspinner, though it’s by no means certain you’ll be guaranteed millions. There was someone on the box last night who reckons that by the time the circus comes to town there will be far more hotel rooms than there will be folk looking to put their heads down, so a fast buck is in no way assured.
It also makes me wonder what will happen to these rooms after the games – it seems unlikely they’ll be suitable for turning into proper living space, so I have a horrid feeling that dodgy, low-cost, exploitative accommodation beckons, instead of real housing options.
So what is there out there? Certainly all the hospitality places in town are touting for business. INC have everything up for grabs including a certain person’s own gaff (someone did send me the link but I have, cough, 454 un-dealt with emails just now and I just can’t find it) and I’m sure absolutely any church hall, pub upstairs room and restaurant will be happy to hear from potential party organisers.
If you want to join them, I don’t think that Greenwich Council is going to repeat their course on how to turn your place into a B&B like they did for the millennium, but there’s a positive rash of online companies have sprung up to help cater for your every need and they all seem to have dropped through the Phantom mailbox. Accommodation For The Games”, London Rent My House, Crashpadder, Rent During the Games – the list goes on. And on.
I don’t have an axe to grind about any of them and I’m not particularly interested personally as I have every intention of staying around. If there’s going to be a spare inch chez Phantom I’ll be mightily surprised as sundry friends and family suddenly express a long-held desire to come and visit, just coincidentally during those few weeks.
I guess that the one that does intrigue me a little if I was looking to rent out is Staywimi (a name I wouldn’t have chosen) that operates a bit like ebay – you advertise your room with them and only pay if someone actually stays with you.
For me, though, renting out and leaving seems just plain wrong. However much I may fret about the state of the park – and I do still worry, (though I feel generally better thanks to the efforts of a few, who probably think they ‘lost’ because their aim was to stop the equestrian events entirely, when really I’d say they’ve won – a major event is still coming but they’re forcing its organisers to be responsible – I see that as a major win) there is one undeniable thing.
London is going to be THE place to be next year. It’s going to be absolutely buzzing and it’s going to be on our doorsteps. Who would want to miss that?