Road to PyeongChang 2018 (Issue #11)

South Korea bullet trains will dramatically reduce travel time to PyeongChang 2018 venues…
Accessibility of PyeongChang 2018 will improve with new bullet trains: organizers: November 15th. As South Korea’s bullet trains prepare for operation in early December, the times to travel to Olympic events will shorten. Normally 3–4 hours by car, the Korea Rail KTX trains can reach PyeongChang in just 80 minutes from Seoul. But, the committee estimate of 20 minute bus rides to venues is way too optimistic based on what I clocked when I was there earlier this month. For a preview of my Ultimate Guide listing realistic travel times for venues, check out my write-up here.

It is incredibly difficult to find a room for PyeongChang 2018, but there are plenty of hotels available…
No Room at the Inn in PyeongChang? November 16th. For fans looking to attend the Winter Games in PyeongChang, the single biggest challenge is finding a place to stay. In this OpEd from Around The Rings, Everen Brown shares his findings that there are plenty of hotels available, but the catch is the hotels want you to buy out every single room. Often times at a multiple as high as 7x of the normal price. This will continue to pose a problem until and unless they decide to offer the rooms individually. At that point, it may be too late for many travelers. With that said, in the past two weeks significant new inventory has become available in the Gangneung and Sokcho areas at affordable prices through

Will they or will they not? What will be Russia’s fate for PyeongChang 2018?
IOC to decide Dec. 5 if Russia goes to 2018 Winter Olympics. November 17th. The long running saga of the investigation of potential Russian doping is about to come to a close, at least for these Olympic Winter Games. On December 5th, the IOC will decide if Russia can attend the Olympic Games and what it means for their athletes. If Russia is banned from these games, look for an additional glut of hotel rooms and event ticket availability as Russian Federation fans are expected to show up big in PyeongChang but only if they are represented. Read the full item story here.

PyeongChang 2018 ticket sales still struggling in latest figures released from Olympic committee…
PyeongChang organizers say ticket sales increasing while stressing Games will be safe. November 13th. The latest sales figures from the PyeongChang 2018 Organizing Committee pegs the current sales of the Olympic Winter Games at just 34% sold. While the committee is putting a positive spin on it, the increase is just an additional 3% or 36,000 tickets since online sales were opened worldwide and ticket booths opened in South Korea. The committee still has not put forth concrete plans on how they plan to fill the stadiums. More details coming this week as the IOC completes their technical review in South Korea.

Keeping your event safe from cyber-hackers at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games…
South Korea Winter Olympics: Cyber lessons from the past. November 20th. With security among the major concerns of event organizers for the Olympics in South Korea, this article walks you through lessons from past Olympics and how you can secure computers, networks, and mobile devices from prying eyes. Suggestions include Wifi security, DDoS attacks, and phishing schemes. Read all of the tips here.

The latest from the world of sponsorships for PyeongChang 2018…

  • Duluth Trading Company becomes the official sponsors of the US luge team for the 2018 Winter Olympics and will provide their “off track” wear.
  • The Hartford announces their sponsorship of the Paralympic Games.
  • Comcast announces their roster of Olympic and Paralympic athletes for PyeongChang 2018.

Latest Road to PyeongChang bits and bytes for fans who are planning or hoping to attend:

  • Hotel availability will be challenging for the foreseeable future. While challenges remain for fans trying to book accommodations, there is some hope on the horizon. Several reasonable options popped up in the Sokcho and Gangneung areas this week on Hopefully, as we get closer to the start of the Winter Games in February, this will continue as a trend.
  • Plan to use my travel calculator! Understanding how long it will take you to get the venues is a key planning aspect. When making your plans, be sure to check out my Ultimate Guide to PyeongChang Travel Times piece.
  • Flight prices stable this week to get you to South Korea: Flights remain surprisingly inexpensive. Round-trip remained flat at $759 from Los Angeles to Seoul, South Korea on Hong Kong Airlines departing February 6th and returning February 16th, enough time to see the Opening Ceremonies and several marquee events. NOTE: Two weeks ago, prices were $595.
  • PyeongChang 2018 Ticket Site Watch: 90% of events are available for immediate purchase and you have your choice of pick-up, print-at-home, and mobile ticketing. A larger release of high demand tickets such as men’s figure skating went on sale last Monday, November 6th and quickly sold out. Tickets can now be purchased at Box Office locations, at and via the Fan-to-Fan exchange. Be sure to check both the sale and fan resale sites before purchasing.
  • Authorized Ticket Resellers Watch: With the news a few weeks back on the PyeongChang 2018 ticketing site, it is anticipated the focus for Authorized Resellers will likely shift to focus only on packages inclusive of hotel rooms, hospitality, and tickets. The reason? The PyeongChang 2018 offers lower prices and more options for delivery of tickets. I will continue to track ticket availability through ATRs which remains largely unchanged with most events having available inventory from both Cosport (USA) and Dertour (Germany/EU).

Ken is the Chief Operating Officer at InviteManager. He has been featured in the International Business Times, MSN, Yahoo Sports, ThePostGame, USA Today and ESPN. For more information, you can follow Ken’s blog, connect via Twitter or email him at