Road to PyeongChang 2018 (Issue #6)

Here are the highlights on the Road to PyeongChang from the past week:

What is the state of the Olympics, sponsorships, and what can we expect in PyeongChang 2018?
This week, I had the opportunity to share my insights with Dr. Diane Hamiltonon Take the Lead, a nationally syndicated radio program. Perspective on past Olympics and my predictions on the current state and where things go from here. This segment actually won’t air until October 30 but you can hear now via the podcast starting at the 37-minute mark. Listen here.

Are there really going to be giving free tickets away at the Winter Olympic Games?
PyeongChang Olympics ticket sales get icy reception: October 11th. In a bombshell this week, the Korean Herald has reported that the S. Korean government is planning to buy tickets and distribute for free at several of the PyeongChang 2018 events. Why? With less than 4 months to go, ticket sales remain poor with less than 30 percent of the 1 million tickets having been sold. Sales have cooled further with only an additional 9k tickets being sold in the last three weeks. The outlook is grim for the Olympic organizers while offering a rare opportunity for Olympic fans to enjoy the games crowd-free and quite possibly, many events without charge once you get there.

Why can’t I find a hotel room for the Olympics?
Eighty-eight percent of the hotels, motels, inns and guesthouses in the area do not have a single room booked during the Olympic period: October 11th. In another bizzare revelation, that same Korean Herald article is reporting an astronomical amount of hotel availability in the areas around PyeongChang. Why is this bizarre? It is widely being reported here and here that finding a hotel room for the Winter Olympic Games is the single most impossible task for many fans wanting to go. And, a quick review of common hotel and lodging sites like Expedia and AirBNB show either limited or very expensive accommodation for the games. So where are all of these hotel rooms and why are they not listed? A big question that I plan to get to the bottom of when I visit South Korea in 3 weeks.

24 Hour Fitness announces their roster for PyeongChang 2018…
24 Hour Fitness Announces Partnership with Three Team USA Athletes Ahead of the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang: October 10th. 24 Hour Fitness continued its 14-year partnership with the Team USA (USOC) by announcing its partnership with “Team 24”, three athletes that will represent Team USA at the PyeongChang Olympic and Paralympic Games. Gus Kenworthy, Elana Meyers Taylor, and Rico Roman are the 3 athletes featured while 24 Hour Fitness activates with opportunities for engagement including Train Like An Olympian, Behind-the-Scenes With 24Life Magazine, and The View Inside. Read all of the details here.

With 4 months to go, PyeongChang 2018 finally achieves sponsorship goal with help from South Korean government… 
The Korea Airports Corporation (KAC) has confirmed a sponsorship deal with the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. October 13th. In news that brought some relief to the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, they announced their newest partner, the Korea Airports Corporation on Friday for undisclosed terms that enable the Committee to achieve their sponsorship goal of $830M USD. It has taken a herculean effort for the South Korean team to reach this goal, especially when compared with Tokyo 2020, which surpassed their goals 2 years early.

Dream Concert for PyeongChang sells out in less than 5 minutes…
PyeongChang Dream Concert sells out in flash: October 12th. The Dream Concert, a celebration happening November 4th in the PyeongChang Olympic Plaza sold out all 20,000 tickets in less than 5 minutes. For those not up on Dream Concert, it is the biggest K-pop concert in Korea. Read more here.

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

  • I’ll get to the bottom of it! Yes, you can still stay in PyeongChang for as little as $50/night, but only 5 rooms are left at PyeongChang at the Kumkwangjang Motel in PyeongChang. Very few other choices are available through Expedia or AirBNB, despite reports that 88% of hotels in the area have not sold a single room. I’ll be getting to the bottom of this the week of November 6th when I am in South Korea.
  • Flights prices flat and relatively cheap to get you to South Korea: Flights remain surprisingly inexpensive. Round-trip dipped to $615 from Los Angeles to Seoul, South Korea on Air China departing February 6th and returning February 16th, enough time to see the Opening Ceremonies and several marquee events. Last week, prices were $669.
  • South Korea announces train pass deal for foreigners. A foreigner exclusive, Korean Rail Passes for the Olympic Games go on sale starting October 10th. Passes are available in 5-day and 7-day durations with unlimited use starting at 168,000 Won ($147 USD).
  • PyeongChang 2018 Ticket Site Watch: No changes this week, still not a single session is sold out for the Olympic Winter Games. All 208 sessions still have inventory. Reminder: PyeongChang 2018 Fan-to-Fan ticket exchange opens on October 31st and Ticket Box Offices opening up in South Korea on November 6th.
  • Authorized Ticket Resellers Watch: Cosport, the online reseller for the United States once again released additional inventory this week with every event with the exception of Opening & Closing Ceremonies now available. First time for Bobsleigh, Skeleton, and Short Track Speed Skating with inventory in 6 months. Dertour, the authorized reseller for Germany shows a big increase in availability this week to 189 ticket groups across the all sessions from 176 last week. Opening & Closing ceremonies still available.

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