PYEONGCHANG, South Korea -- For spectators attending the PyeongChang Olympic Games next month, going to sporting events will only be part of the fun.
Several participating nations will run Olympic hospitality houses during the Feb. 9-25 competition. Run by national Olympic committees or corporate sponsors, these hospitality houses will promote countries' cultures and specialty foods.
The houses will host watch parties for visitors to cheer on their Olympians and celebrate their feats together. There will also be retail shops where visitors can purchase Olympic and national team gear.
|Korea House-PyeongChang 2018 Hall, South Korea`s hospitality house during the PyeongChang Olympics. (Yonhap)|
These houses will be mostly located at Yongpyong Resort in PyeongChang and Gangneung Olympic Park in Gangneung, a sub-host city of all ice events located just east of PyeongChang.
Some houses will be open to public -- either for free or for a fee. Others, such as Italy House, Sweden House and Team USA House, will only be open to Olympic athletes and their families and friends. Team USA House in Yongpyong, in particular, will be open on an invitation only basis and will charge visitors $300.
Host South Korea will run the Korea House-PyeongChang 2018 Hall in Gangneung. Korea House will be open to public and will hold press conferences for South Korean medalists during the Olympics. It will stay open through the end of the PyeongChang Paralympics on March 19.
Canada Olympic House in Gangneung will be open to the public for $25. The Czech House is situated close to Gangneung Olympic Village and will serve Czech beer and food. It will have a public opening party at 1 a.m. on Feb. 9.
The Netherlands' hospitality house in Gangneung will be called Holland Heineken. Fans can enter for 12.50 euros and even stay overnight for an additional 32,500 won ($30.55).
Japan, host of the next Summer Olympics in 2020, will set up Japan House-Tokyo 2020 in Gangneung to promote the upcoming competition.
House of Switzerland will set up big screens for visitors to watch the Olympics, along with a Swiss restaurant and an outdoor Swiss market in Yongpyong. Visitors can also rent skis and arrange skiing or snowboarding lessons with Swiss officials.
Hospitality houses for Switzerland, Sweden, the United States and P&G, a global Olympic sponsor, will all be located in the Nations Village at Yongpyong Resort. (Yonhap)