March 14, 2008 / 10:40 PM / in 10 years

Vancouver says on budget, increases hiring

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Organizers of the 2010 Olympics say they remain on budget and are seeing staff ranks growing as they move from the construction to the operational phase of the Winter Games.

The Vancouver Organizing Committee, which has sung a mantra of “on time, on budget” since construction began, continued to sing that tune on Friday as it released its latest quarterly financial report.

VANOC said the financial quarter ended January 31 had a positive cash balance of C$56.5 million ($57.1 million).

Organizers have pegged the cost of hosting the Winter Games on Canada’s Pacific Coast at C$1.6 billion, including C$580 million in venue construction costs that are being funded by the federal and provincial governments.

VANOC has promised to have all its major sporting venues completed by the time the 2008 Olympics in Beijing begin this summer and has already begun hosting events to test the facilities.

Organizers said they hired 87 people during the quarter and now have a full-time staff of 590.

($1=$0.99 Canadian)

Reporting by Allan Dowd; editing by Rob Wilson

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