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S.L. workers adjusting for Games flood

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While some are saying the Olympics is all about the spectators and is ignoring local businesses, others are willing to deal with the mess for the sake of hosting the world.

Lisa Cover is one of the former. She's the production manager for Vanguard Media, 325 W. Pierpont Ave. The agency shares a parking lot with the Crane Building, but that lot has been rented by a vendor during the Games. Cover says if employees manage to make it downtown, they'll have no place to park.

"It's all going to be right down here," she said. "We're impacted more than any other area. There should be a supplement for businesses to pay employees."

Cover said many of the 20 employees will be working from home, which means the firm has to worry about moving computers and getting Internet access for those who don't have it.

"They're not taking care of the local businesses," she said. "It's all about the spectators. We're a small business. We could go out of business because the Olympics came. That's not fair."

But Alicia Seeley, senior project manager for Vanguard, said Cover doesn't speak for the company and Vanguard is planning ahead to keep things running smoothly.

"By planning ahead, we can keep going with business as usual," she said.

In order to do just that, Royce Bair intends to heed Olympic organizers' call to work 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"The biggest concern is trying to get my employees out of town by 2 o'clock," said Bair, who runs inkjetart.com at on the corner of 200 West and 300 South, just a half block from fenced-in Olympic Square.

Workers, he said, have carpool assignments and will get to work about 5:30 a.m. Now he has to find a place for them to park. The parking lot owner sold their spaces during the Olympics.

Bair said some of his employees aren't pleased with the temporary arrangements but will make the best of it.

"We're willing to live with it for the benefit of the Olympics and making a good impression on the world."

Some downtown workers are turning to light rail.

"We'll probably use TRAX. We'll try it, see what happens. Maybe it will be empty," said Melissa Green, who works in the Beneficial Life Tower.

As a computer consulting firm with worldwide clients, Green said her office can't work an early schedule. Service technicians plan to stay as late as 5:30 p.m.

Trina Ostlund, who works at Artspace on Pierpont Avenue, wonders how long the wait will be at crowded TRAX stations.

"Are you going to have to wait an hour? I know they're bringing in more cars. Is that going to be enough?"

Gilbert Romero's business, Packaging Corp. of America, is at 460 W. 500 South, and he's grateful to be on the outskirts of the closures.

"I think it's going to be a big nightmare for those downtown within the restricted area," he said.

Romero said he also thinks Olympic plans are too oriented to the spectator, with no concern at all for "those that have to stay after the Olympics."

While many residents were concerned about getting around downtown and avoiding the Games, Bud Bailey was trying to figure out how to make it to three different Olympic events in one day.

Bailey has tickets to a morning event in Park City, an afternoon event in Kearns and a night event in downtown Salt Lake City.

"There's no provision to get from one to the other," he said. "It makes it impossible to get around."

Bailey will have to drive from Holladay to Park City, then back to Kearns before going home to Holladay, where he can take public transportation to the downtown area.

"There should be shuttles between parking areas," he said. "Other than that, they're doing a great job" with Olympic transportation, he said.

E-mail: dromboy@desnews.com; lculler@desnews.com