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Economy

Calgary businesses respond to reality of Olympic bid dreams ending

WATCH: It was a clear “no” from Calgary voters Tuesday night when it comes to the city hosting the Olympics again. The post-mortem of the plebiscite is garnering some differing reactions. As Jill Croteau reports, businesses are weighing in on the “morning after.”

World Cup competitor and Olympic hopeful Brendan Mackay was feeling disappointed following the results of Calgary’s Olympic bid plebiscite.

READ MORE: What’s next for Calgary, Canada and the Olympic Games after 2026 Olympic bid rejection?

His Olympic dream of going for gold in his own country is now just an illusion.

“I was almost assuming it was going to be a ‘yes.’ That was the only choice from my perspective. Unfortunately, it’s not,” MacKay said.

READ MORE: 56.4% of Calgarians say ‘no’ to 2026 Olympic bid in plebiscite: unofficial results

The Calgary business supporting MacKay with a sponsorship regrets the city didn’t seize an opportunity.

Jay Vaughan, owner of Mountain Cultures, said given the current economic reality, having the 2026 Games in this city would have been the injection needed.

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“It would have been a big boost.

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“Calgary is not terrible without it but it would have been a nice thing to have handed us with the current state,” Vaughan said.

Other businesses admitted they’re relieved the majority voted ‘no.’

Owner of Gravity Espresso and Wine Bar, Andy Fennell, said it’s the wrong time for the city.

“All I’ve heard is that it would spur job growth and I am cynical with that,” Fennell said.

“Economically, the emphasis needs to be to get people back to work.”

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City officials are now starting to navigate how to pivot from the plebiscite’s no result.

READ MORE: ‘There’s a lot of nails in the coffin:’ MRU’s David Taras on Olympic vote outcome

Ward 8 councillor Evan Woolley said he’s not surprised by the outcome.

“The province came up too short in its contribution with no willingness to take on risks.

“The federal government, at a political level, didn’t look closely enough until it was too late and the IOC didn’t come to table with enough value to move forward on a project like this.”

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