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Extended bar hours in the works for 2010 Games

Changes to laws to accommodate Vancouver becoming a 24-hour city during the 2010 Olympics could see bars and restaurants open to 4 am and patios until 1 am.

Pulse and PumpJack owner Vince Marino says it’s a blanket policy that could cover the entire city through the Olympic and Paralympic Games period beginning Feb 12. But, says Marino, whether a business takes advantage of the changes is up to them.

“That allows businesses to make choices,” Marino says. But, he adds, the plans are not yet finalized, and bars, clubs and restaurants are trying to confirm details.

But, at least one resident of Yaletown wants to know why they weren’t consulted about city plans to allow bar and restaurant patios to remain open for an extra two hours until 1 am during the Games.

Resident Jean Francois Guimond opposes the extended hours just as he opposed Davie Street’s Opus Hotel being allowed a rooftop deck.

He says Yaletown is being billed as a party zone already and the change in hours will make it worse.

“The bedlam regularly erupts outside our bedroom,” he told city council recently. “Late-night noise is a huge problem.” Guimond says there was insufficient consultation on plans to relocate The Odyssey Nightclub and none on the proposed extended hours during the Olympics.

 In a report to council, however, city staff say the Games period will create an increase in activity throughout the city. And that will result in a need for more spaces in bars and restaurants to deal with the hundreds of thousands of people coming to Vancouver for the Games, they say. As a result, the report says, with all the increased activity taken into consideration, the impact of the increased hours may not be significant.

Guimond wants to know what evidence the city bases its claims on.

“We already have a situation in crisis,” he said.

The bylaw change would also allow for tents to be added to patios to increase capacity.

Yaletown residents might also want to remember that vehicles will not be permitted on Davie St between Mainland and Expo Boulevard, and Hamilton St between Georgia St and Davie St during the Games.