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CANADA HOSTS THE WORLD : Expo 86 Sales Soaring in British Columbia as Travelers, Cruise Lines Look Northward

March 23, 1986|SHARON DIRLAM | Times Staff Writer

Three-day tickets to Expo are specially priced until May 1 at $29.95 for adults and $14.95 for children 6-12 and seniors 65 and older. Children 5 and younger are free. Season passes for the entire run of Expo cost $99 and $49.50. Prices go up to $34.95 and $17.50 for the three-day tickets on the day Expo opens (and up to $120 and $60 for season passes). Tickets can be ordered through travel agents or by writing to Expo 86, P.O. Box 1800, Station A, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6C 3A2. Tickets are also available through Ticketron.

Expo's official accommodation agency, ResWest, will make reservations for a $5 fee. Travel agents are also offering tours to Canada featuring Expo and other British Columbia attractions.

Expo will be open every day, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and "Expo After Hours" is a special night-life program that continues into the wee hours.

Docking at Vancouver's new $17-million terminal this season will be a fleet of 17 cruise ships, making a record 205 sailings into the city. Overall, the waterfront development has cost $215 million, including the hotel and trade and convention center as well as cruise ship facility.

The complex, Canada Place, is anchored by the luxury Pan Pacific Vancouver and World Trade Center office complex. Under five soaring sails is Canada's Expo Pavilion, which will later become the convention center.

While Expo is in progress, more than 14,000 performances are on the agenda, ranging from an Australian aboriginal dance to an Inuit heavy metal band. Performers are from 40-plus countries. Expo's budget for cultural and entertainment alone totals $60 million.

Entertainment Galore

There are seven major Expo theaters, three cabarets and two bandstands, all of which will feature a steady stream of pop, jazz, blues and rock music, dance, comedy and revues. Elsewhere throughout the area will be strolling clowns, jugglers and mimes, parades, robots and a variety of street entertainers.

Also on tap this summer in Vancouver is the star-studded Royal Bank Expo 86 World Festival, with 250 performances by the great classic companies, involving theater, dance, art and sculpture, films, chamber music, orchestra and opera. These events will be staged at the 2,800-seat Queen Elizabeth Theater, the Queen Elizabeth Playhouse, a 650-seat proscenium theater; the Orpheum, a 2,800-seat concert hall; the B.C. Place Stadium, a 60,000-seat covered amphitheater, and several smaller theaters seating under 500.

British Columbia tourist officials said that 1985 brought 12.6 million visitors to the province, a 3.3% increase over 1984. With Expo 86, they expect the total to reach 15 million visitors.

All during Expo you can call one place for reservations throughout British Columbia. That's ResWest, the official reservation service for Expo 86.

The computerized service costs $5 to book all of your accommodations--hotels, motels, B&B homes, resorts. Car rentals too. Even motor homes and houseboats.

Phone ResWest at (604) 662-3300 or write to ResWest, P.O. Box 1138, Station A, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6C 2T1.

The new Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel, right at Canada Place, is open for business with 505 rooms starting at $107 for a double. To stay in the heart of the action, as well as the lap of luxury, this is the place. But it's already fully booked from April to October, although you might get lucky if there's a last-minute cancellation just before you arrive.

Other Top Hotels

Other favorite top-of-the-line hotels are Four Seasons in the heart of Vancouver, $122 and up (sold out for Expo); Hyatt Regency, $97 and up; Westin Bayshore with its panoramic views, $100 and up; the Mandarin, a favorite with business travelers, $104 and up (sold out for Expo); the European-style Wedgewood, $79 and up, and Chateau Granville, near the Expo Center, $65 and up.

ResWest will know which hotels have vacancies and will make your reservations, deluxe, medium-price or economy, adding the $5 fee to your bill. The fee's the same whether you stay put for your entire trip or travel around the province with reservations at several places.

Visitors who want to go the B&B route may call Canadian Bed and Breakfast Accommodations Inc. The toll-free number from the United States is (800) 663-0561.

Campers and recreational vehicle vacationers will find a campground during Expo right across the U.S.-Canada border at White Rock. Border Campland RV Park, phone (604) 531-8811, will be open throughout Expo, and has 325 sites that cost $22.50 a night. Or Expo visitors can pay $160 for four nights at the park and tickets for two to Expo.

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