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OLYMPICS20 . . June 2012June even years after London won its bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, over rivals Paris, Madrid, New York and Moscow, the event is fi nally upon us. 10,500 athletes majoring in 26 sports will battle it out across 34 venues in front of 8.8m ticket holders, and 21,000 media and broadcasters later this month.The halo-effect around the London 2012 Olympics has seen the city's offer as a business destination change radically and over £11bn has been invested in the last four years into its venue stock. New hotels and venues have opened up and the event will use a mixture of new and existing venues, and temporary facilities in locations including Hyde Park, Greenwich Park and Horse Guards Parade. During the past two years, hoteliers have viewed London as the European city for new openings. St Pancras Station is now home to a restored Victorian masterpiece, the fi ve-star, £150m Renaissance Marriott Hotel, offering 244 rooms alongside the Eurostar terminal. The Strand has seen the return of the Savoy Hotel, following a £200m refurbishment, and the fi ve-star 294-room Corinthia property has opened in Whitehall. Starwood has opened its fi rst UK W Hotel in Leicester Square, while Park Lane has welcomed a 192-room Four Seasons hotel. Other openings include London Syon Park, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel, the rejuvenated St Ermin's Hotel London 2012The moment Britain has been waiting for has fi nally arrived as the London 2012 Olympics take centre stage next month. What happens next for the events industry? Vikki Carley reportsin Westminster and the new destination brand Aloft, which has now opened at London Excel. Improved transport links to the key Olympic sites include an East London line extension, upgrades to the existing Docklands LightRailway (DLR), and a 225km/h high-speed Javelin service to take spectators from St Pancras to the Olympic Park in seven minutes.The Olympic Park, located in the Lower Lea Valley in East London where up to 180,000 spectators a day will gather during the event, is where most of the focus will be. There are fi ve main venues in the Olympic Park including the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium, the VeloPark and Aquatics Centre, Basketball Arena and Handball Arena. After the greatest show on earth has left town, how will London ensure a lasting legacy? Barbara Jamison, Head of Business Development Europe at convention bureau London and Partners, told CN: "The East London area will be transformed into one of the largest urban parks in Europe, while the sports facilities will be opened for use by local sports clubs and societies. The Olympic Village will be converted into 3,600 apartments and the media centre will evolve into a new business and events hub."Post-Games, event organisers will be able to make use of the Olympic venues by booking their next conference in the Velodrome or the Olympic Stadium." events legacyS