June 30, 2009

Destroy Our Wilderness For Lodging? Guess Again.

When our team began making plans for the 2016 Olympics, housing was our last concern.  With the vast acres (and by vast we mean millions) that surround Ely, we saw a rare opportunity to offer Olympic spectators a housing option so unique they’d be begging to make a trip back to Ely in 2017, 2018, 2019 . . . you get the picture. 

So what unique housing option are we moving forward with?  Camping, of course!  We haven’t ironed out all the kinks, but we do know that spectators would have the option to rent tents of various sizes, cots, sleeping bags and even pillows.  This will allow us to preserve the wilderness around Ely, offer inexpensive lodging to spectators and save millions on construction costs. 

At the entrance of each site a large public commons area will be built that will house restrooms and showers for those who aren’t willing to “pop a squat” or bathe in a nearby lake.  If you’re planning to attend the 2016 Olympics and would like to get comfortable with camping before then, come and visit us.  We’ll make sure that by 2016 you’re a pro! 

We do understand that staying in a tent, under the glistening sky, listening to the chirping of crickets isn’t for everyone.  If camping isn’t your style, spectators will have the option of booking rooms in any one of our luxurious resorts or B & Bs.  We suggest doing it within the next year because they fill up quickly.

Visit the official Ely website to see all the lodging options we have to offer.  Come and get familiar with our picturesque town so that by 2016 the phrase “travelers anxiety” means nothing to you.  The official Ely website.

If you attend the 2016 Olympics in Ely which lodging option will you choose? 

June 22, 2009

Money in the Bank

We were astonished when we read a recent article that stated China profited approximately $176 million from hosting the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  The country of China is said to have spent $2.8 billion hosting and staging the Olympics, which brought in revenue of $3 billion.  

So what does this mean for Ely and our quest to host the greatest summer Olympic games known to man?  Not only will the world have a chance to explore our untouched acres and lush landscapes, but we stand to make a few bucks while we’re at it.  With all the activities, adventurous tours and quaint small-town boutiques in Ely, we’re confident we can bring in some serious cash.  Imagine all the things we could do with $1 billion plus!  We envision rope bridges and zip lines throughout the wilderness that surrounds us, maybe even an amusement park.  What else would you like to see added to the Ely area, got any ideas?

June 17, 2009

106 days and counting . . .

With the final decision less then 4 months away, it’s about time we reflect on our efforts over the last two months.  What have we done, what needs to still be done?  So many unanswered questions and of course, bidding for the Olympics doesn’t come with a users manual.

What we know:
1.     We’ve got a location for the Olympic Stadium.  Although many aren’t happy about Miner’s Lake being drained, it’s the perfect location and we’ve promised to refill the lake when the Olympics are finished.
2.     Jim Brandenburg was named the official Olympic photographer for 2016.  A photographer with National Geographic for more than 30 years, Jim has an eye for action and calls Ely home.  www.jimbrandenburg.com
3.     New housing will be needed, and a record number of Olympic spectators WILL find a love for camping and the great outdoors.
4.     After a vote, we decided a complete international airport was unnecessary.  Instead we will add two large landing strips that will be used for athletes only.  All others will fly into Minneapolis or Duluth and take our official Ely 2016 shuttles.
5.     We will ask Jessica Biel to be our celebrity spokesperson.  We’re requesting she bring Justin Timberlake (and the rest of N’Sync) for an N’Sync reunion at opening ceremonies . . . what better way to captivate spectators worldwide!
6.    Plan to host swimming and diving in Shagawa Lake, utilizing natural resources!  We wonder if Michael Phelps can out swim a bass?
7.     Hosting the Olympics is spendy. We do have private donations lined up and are planning several meat raffles in the upcoming months.
8.    You can already purchase official Ely 2016 shirts at www.zzapps.com

What we don’t know:
1.     Will all this hard work pay off?
2.    What will the official mascot of Ely 2016 be? Submit your ideas before July 1 and you could win $500!
3.     Where to build the Olympic Village and other sport venues.
4.     What foods we will offer.  We are awaiting the end of the MN State Fair before we decide this one.  Should we introduce the world to peach-glazed pig cheeks?

Looks like we are on the right path, we will continue to update on all of our progress.  Thanks for the support so far!

June 11, 2009

Dock Dogs Didn’t Make the Cut for 2016

In an attempt to include man’s best friend in on some Olympic glory, we threw out the idea of adding Dock Dogs as an Olympic sport in 2016.  In Ely, we are already accustomed to hosting competitions for our furry, four legged friends, but it seems the International Olympic Committee feels different.  Below are the seven sports still in the running for two open spots in the 2016 Olympics.  We’re not sure any of these could provide the excitement Michael Phelps did in 2008, but who are we to say! What’s your top pick?

Baseball: An Olympic sport for more than 100 years, Baseball was cut for the upcoming 2012 Olympics.  More than 16 nations and countless dope dealers have taken part in Olympic baseball competition over the years.  Maybe by 2016, players will finally figure out you can’t hide steroid use forever!

Golf: Backed by some big names, including Tiger Woods, Golf draws a large, worldwide audience and following.  Having only been in the Olympics twice in 1900 and 1904, it may be time to give the nice guys a chance for gold!

Karate: We think the majority of us agree there are enough martial arts events in the Olympics, although you may not know that because nobody watches them.

Rugby Sevens:  Like the standard version of Rugby, only seven players on each side.  A fast-paced, nose to the grindstone, type of game, Rugby Sevens draws large crowds on the international level.

Softball:  Typically dominated by the US, softball was cut along side baseball for the 2012 Olympics.  We think they should be a package deal, vote baseball get softball for free.

Roller Sports: May draw a younger crowd to the Olympics but isn’t this what the X-Games are for?

Squash:  Ok, we admit we had to Google this one.  Who knew those little, funny-shaped pumpkins that we paint in the Fall share their name with a sport?  Turns out Squash is basically Racquetball with a smaller ball and racquet (and they would expect people to tune in and watch that?)


June 8, 2009

And the Winner is . . . Jessica Biel

After a weeklong poll, Ely 2016 followers and lovers alike voted Jessica Biel as the ‘celebra-sotan’ to best represent Ely in its quest for the Olympics.  We’re not sure the last time Biel has visited her birthplace of Ely, but how could she turn down the chance to represent such a wonderful location!

Surely, with her childhood stories she can reach out and show the world all the beauty that Ely has to offer.  Swimming in the pristine lakes, canoeing in the untouched acres of the Boundary Waters, snuggling up to a cozy campfire, the millions that would flock to Ely in 2016 would not be let down.  Now, we just need to figure out how to reach her?  How to make her see this is the best use of her time and efforts?  Here’s to hoping (please, raise your glass) that she reads our blog, or begins to follow us on Facebook or Twitter!

I know the next question on everyone’s mind is . . . what about Justin Timberlake?  We like to think he’ll tag along, ya’ know, like a package deal!  We plan on a JT performance during the opening ceremonies, as long as he promises NOT to expose anyone’s breasts.  Who knows, maybe he can persuade JC, Joey, Chris and Lance to join him.  We can’t think of anything that would captivate a worldwide audience, more than an N’Sync reunion (especially during opening ceremonies)!

June 4, 2009

We’ve Got One More Chance to Woo ‘Em!

To say we’ll be burning the midnight oil the next two weeks is an understatement! After learning the International Olympic Committee is hosting a forum for cities to present their final pitch, we figure this is a perfect opportunity for Ely to show the world we are equipped and ready to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.   We’re a little disappointed that we didn’t receive an invite (and had to read about it in the Chicago Tribune) but if we show up June 17 in Switzerland with presentation in hand, there is no way they can turn us down!

Ely hosts numerous events EVERY year, being the ‘hostess with the mostess’ is nothing new to us!  From dock dog competitions and art festivals to the season fishing opener we handle large influxes of people on a regular basis.

We’re a little unsure how we’ll come up with the funds to get to Switzerland, but with the dock dogs competition coming to Ely this weekend it’s the perfect time for a fundraiser!  Meat raffle, silent auction, and bake sale . . . the possibilities are endless!

For a complete listing of all the events happening in Ely, visit www.ely.org and click on Ely Events.


June 1, 2009

Okay, Okay Chicago We Get It!

How much more support does the Windy City need? As if Oprah and Obama weren’t enough, now Michael “His Airness” Jordan has joined the march in bringing the 2016 Olympic games to Chicago.  It’s time we step up our game and get some representation from Minnesotans!  We’ve compiled a list of our top five ‘celebra-sotans’ and need your help in selecting the person you think could make an inspiring, persuasive pitch to bring the Olympic games to Ely (we are quickly running out of time as the final decision is less than 130 days away).

And the nominees are (in our best award show tone):

Kent Hrbek: Although he prefers Ely in the winter when he can enjoy long days on the dog sledding trails, baseball great and avid outdoorsman Kent Hrbek could certainly speak to the beauty of Ely and it’s surroundings. 

Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura:  Sure his pitch may come off more like a circus act but the man does have a following.

Joe Mauer:  In the midst of a monster-sized season the hometown favorite has clout among the sports world! 

Prince:  Born and raised in Minnesota, Prince reaches an incredible number of people with his music and love of spandex.  The opening ceremony would be unforgettable!

Jessica Biel:  Born in Ely, Biel can share her heart-warming memories of the great town of Ely.  If her buzz is as big as her role in the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, we’d be flying high!  Maybe Justin Timberlake would even tag along!

Cast your vote now!

Committee members discuss opening theme and more – check it out!

Check out this hilarious additional footage released from the Ely 2016 press conference: