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VICTORIA HOSTS SPORTING EVENTS IN LATE AUGUST

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Victoria, British Columbia, will host the XV Commonwealth Games from Aug. 18 to 28, and the very British city at the southern tip of Vancouver Island is striving to avoid the price-gouging that often accompanies global athletic meets.

Area hotels have agreed to keep their rates within 5 percent of last summer's prices, and restaurants following a similar guideline will sport decals designating them as "hospitality partners."Even with the extra effort to keep visitors happy, anyone planning to visit Victoria during the games should expect hotel space to be scarce, so reservations are in order.

About 3,000 athletes and team personnel from 66 British Commonwealth nations are expected. Queen Elizabeth II is scheduled to be on hand during the games' final days.