Wang Zhenghui, director of China's Hotel Association in Beijing, told the Los Angeles Times that occupancy during the Olympics was only 50 to 60 percent, a long way from the overflow that had been expected. Of the 20,000 apartments listed with Olympics officials for short term lease, only 8,000 were rented.
Given the lack of transparency and the accounting creativity of the Chinese government, the cost to the economy of the industrial and traffic cutbacks in an attempt to stem pollution during the Games will probably never be known. The Beijing authorities had not only temporarily closed down many karaoke rooms and sleazy entertainment facilities deemed capable of corrupting the athletes and their friends, but industrial plants were also sequestered. The alternate-day, even-odd controls on traffic not only penalized Beijing’s wealthier commuters, but made for additional costs for food and other necessity deliveries.
Many if not most Beijing residents would welcome back a return to “normal” conditions in the megapolis.
"Otherwise it would be too inconvenient for people . . . and will largely decrease the efficiency of the city," said Hu Xingdou, an economics professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology. "Actually, nowadays, many ordinary people sincerely hope that the Games could finish sooner."
Given the Chinese penchant for enormous state pageantry — an inheritance that preceded even the Communist state theater Beijing copied from the Soviets and the Nazis — the elaborate and pace-setting major construction for the Games will probably be put to use in future state functions. That’s a net gain over many other former “Olympic cities” — Athens, for example — where the facilities have become white elephants and contributed to near bankruptcy for their sponsors.
But none of this economic and business history seems to have dimmed the enthusiasm as Beijing faded and the British picked up the Olympic torch for the 2012 London Games.