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Executive members in the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) are working hard to ensure that Bahamians who are interested in attending the upcoming Summer Olympic Games can do so hassle free.
The BOC is in the process of trying to increase the number of tickets, for each sporting event, that was offered to The Bahamas, since a limited number were given. BOC General Secretary Romel "Fish" Knowles said things are "starting to take shape", and the final confirmation will be released by next week.
"The cheapest ticket priced right now is about £60," said Knowles. "Swimming is probably about £120. We expect that those ticket prices might drop a little bit based on the inventory.
" We will know by next week when they drop and how many will be released to the public. There should be a reduction. The inventory will be more refined as we get closer.
"We have been allocated a number of tickets in all kind of different events. But when we saw the ticket list for athletics, for example, the amount of tickets that have been allocated to us directly will not suffice. They didn't give us a lot of athletic tickets nor swimming. That is the reason why we decided to use Cartan Tours who is the wholesaler of tickets. So if another country is not to interested in track and field but more so equestrian or badminton, we can probably switch because those sports are not properly in The Bahamas.
"What Cartan Tours will do in that regard, since they have all of the inventory, is swop some of our tickets or purchase some of the tickets so we can accommodate everyone on our side."
The BOC signed with Cartan Tours making it the official ticket vendors for the games, for The Bahamas. The 2012 Summer Olympic Games will be held in London, July 27-August 12. The quadrennial games, which features more than 35 sports, attract athletes from over 200 countries.
So far, Bahamians have qualified in athletics (track and field) and swimming. Other pending qualifications are in tennis and boxing. The Bahamas was eliminated in the third round of qualification in men's beach volleyball.
According to Knowles, the top two ticket sellers for The Bahamas are athletics and swimming. Knowles also confirmed that about 300 reservations are booked and people are making arrangements to purchase tickets.
"Actually the ticket sales are going pretty well," said Knowles. "A number of Bahamians have expressed interest in attending the Olympics. What is most revealing is that there are about 200 Bahamian-students in the UK who have all expressed interest in being a part of Team Bahamas so we are delighted with the way the sales are going right now.
"The rates are really expensive. So we are advised that the closer the games get, depending on the inventory, that the prices will actually drop so it will be a lot more affordable. The average room rate in London is around £250 per night, which is around 285 or 290 in US dollars. So, hopefully, as the games get closer and the inventory is released it will be a little cheaper."
There are still a number of tickets available and interested people are asked to contact the BOC office.
Those who have purchased tickets from another company, but need assistance with any other information, can also contact the BOC.
Another major issue at the CARIFTA Games was ticketing. Hundreds stood on line every day waiting to purchase and pick-up tickets for the games, which was said to be sold out.
At one point, the restless crowd got angry and frustrated, complaining about the system in place. Some said the process is too slow while others just wanted to get better seats.
Aniska Rolle said: "The experience was beyond description in a negative way. The line was not moving at all. That's when some genius decided to say everyone move to Sir Kendal, but when we moved over there, they stopped selling the tickets, so all they did was transfer the problem from one area to another. The line was not moving for a full hour. It was just unorganized. There was no customer service, and the people behind the booth seemed to be pushy and gave off attitude when they were serving. They made it seem as though that there were no more tickets, or that we were at fault because we decided to get our tickets then."
The ticket booth was set-up over at the Betty Kelly-Kenning National Aquatics Centre. Initially, it was located in the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. Tickets went on sale February 28, 2013. Online purchases were made available weeks before the event. Still, a number of patrons decided to wait until this past weekend.
Amy Johnson was also frustrated about the process. She said the organizing committee should have provided other locations to pick up and purchase tickets, that way it would have eliminated the congestion.
"I wanted the $13 pass, but they said they were not printing anymore," said Johnson. "I had to pay extra to get Saturday and Sunday. On top of that, the Monday ticket wasn't available, so I had to tow the line on Monday to get a ticket. That's false advertising and the thought of dealing with it again was a turn off. I've attended many international sporting events and never in my life experienced this before. All I wanted to do was get in the stadium and cheer on the Bahamians. I am sure everyone wanted to do the same."
The tickets were priced from $5 to 25.
The Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) recently announced the list of local travel agencies accredited to provide tickets for the London Olympics in the summer of next year, 2012.
"A full range of tickets for the London Olympics, including air, train and bus travel tickets; hotel accommodations, tours and sporting events tickets are available at Professional Travel, World Executive Travel & Tours, and First Class Travel and Tours," said a spokesman for the BOC.
BOC President Wellington Miller encouraged Bahamians to take advantage of the local availability of tickets.
"We have put these arrangements in place more than a year ahead of time in order to give Bahamians the opportunity to plan the Olympic visit of a lifetime," said Miller. "Bahamians can arrange an Olympic visit to support their athletes for however many days they wish, including all events, transfers and tours."
The BOC recently hosted representatives of Cartan Tours, the official British Olympic ticket agents, and facilitated arrangements with local travel agencies.
"Team Bahamas looks to be an exciting proposition in 2012 and we are encouraging families and supporters to get their tickets early so they won't have to go to London with their 'hands swinging' as we say and run into ticket scalpers and other con artists.
"This time around everything you need can be researched, bought and paid for right here at home rather than going to London in the midst of uncertainty to look for tickets and hotels, etc.," said Miller. "We want Bahamians to take advantage of this great opportunity to be in London in a first class manner to support Bahamian athletes," he added.
An assault on the senses with color, music, high stakes games, beauty and intrigue around every corner is what the fantasy casino night known as Pandora's Box in Paradise will be.
It's an evening that will include performances by the renowned European strolling musicians, the Gypsy Queens, a montage of burlesque by Dita Von Teese and an adrenaline-filled improvisational painting performance by Dan Dunn of Paintjam (as seen on Ellen, Jimmy Fallon and America's Got Talent).
With an exotic array of fine food and libations, you are invited to peek into -- and then step into Pandora's Box -- a fundraising extravaganza to benefit children's charities including the Ranfurly Homes for Children, Bilney Lane Children's Home, Children's Emergency Hostel and the Elizabeth Estates Children's Home, in the Imperial Ballroom at the Atlantis on Friday, February 1. Cocktails are scheduled for 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. -- after that the craziness that will pop out of Pandora's Box continues until late.
A fantasy charity casino will be a highlight of the evening. Fantasy chips won at gaming tables can be used to purchase raffle tickets for a chance at extravagant prizes worth $650,000 worth of amazing raffle and auction prizes such as a $135,000 (2012) Mercedes-Benz CLS 350; a $25,000 shopping spree at John Bull and at Chopard, courtesy of the Chee-A-Tow family; a luxury trip on a G500 private jet that can be used in the United States; a one-week cruise to be used in southern Italy on a 165-foot private yacht; a two or four-seat golf cart by Shirley Enterprises Ltd. and a 10-night stay at any One&Only Resort.
Pandora's Box in Paradise is a charity fundraiser that Harry Cohen and his colleagues came up with to benefit children's charities in The Bahamas. They approached Atlantis with the idea of the fantasy casino night and they were hooked.
"Pandora's Box conjures up the image of opening up a box and being surprised by everything one finds in it," said George Markantonis, president and managing director at Kerzner International (Bahamas) of the intriguing evening. "It's a fantasy casino night [with] spectacular prizes that people can win. It's fantasy gaming in a fun way with a live auction, silent auction and a raffle as well," he said.
Fantasy chips won can be used to purchase raffle tickets, or tickets can be purchased independently with cash or credit card.
"We searched all over to get the best [entertainment] for the Atlantis," said Cohen, chairman of the event's organization committee, referring to Von Teese, the Gypsy Queens and Dunn. We hope [people] will be attracted to this event because it gives them an opportunity to gamble and have fun in a fantasy way, and also partake in good food and good entertainment and all proceeds go to charity."
The goal is to reach $300,000 at the end of the Pandora's Box in Paradise evening. The event can accommodate 500 people. Cohen said the response has been overwhelming.
Tickets for Pandora's Box in Paradise are $500 per person or $4,500 per 10-person table and includes unlimited drinks, fantastic dining, a cigar bar and $1,000 in fantasy chips. To reserve tickets, call the Atlantis Box office at 363-6601 or email email@example.com.
PANDORA'S BOX IN PARADISE
When: Friday, February 1
Where: Imperial Ballroom at the Atlantis
Time: Cocktails 7 p.m. - 8 p.m., Pandora's box 8 p.m. until late
Benefit: Children's charities in The Bahamas
Tickets: $500 per person or $4,500 per 10-person table, includes unlimited drinks, fantastic dining, a cigar bar and $1,000 in fantasy chips.
Box office: To reserve tickets, call the Atlantis Box office at 363-6601 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may know that you can buy a movie card from Galleria Cinemas. And that you can use your card to buy tickets. But did you know you can buy your movie tickets online at BahamasLocal.com?
In this post, Iíll explain how to get your Galleria e-card and how to order a movie online.