It's the long-term economic boost that many are looking at–$756million annually for years afterward and a heightened destinationlocation reputation. Todd Mason, president of the HoustonAssociation of Realtors and vice president at Cushman &Wakefield of Texas Inc., says, without a doubt, that the impact ofsuch a prestigious award would be tremendous on Houston'scommercial real estate industry. "I don't think there will be a lotof speculation before the vote in 2005," he tells

But, Mason adds, the spark would reverberate all around thecity. The Olympic Village is ticketed to be built between theUniversity of Houston and Texas Southern University, in an areawhere investment these days is minimal, he says. Once the games areover, Houston would be left with the structures and the publicityto be more of a destination location, he assesses.

The numbers support what Mason terms a very positive deal. In areport developed by Jim Airola and Dr. Steven Craig, both from theUniversity of Houston, the games would produce an immediateeconomic impact of a little more than $4.3 billion in new regionaloutput while adding more than $1.4 billion in income to Houstonresidents. An additional 64,216 jobs would come with the games.

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