A travel agent is negotiating a deal that could net him millions of pounds by selling 28 webaddresses linked to the forthcoming London 2012 Olympics.
York-based Quartz Travel director Paul Smith registered the addresses,including the most popularolympicsinuk.com and olympicsinuk.co.uk, for around £290 just hours before the UK won its bid to host thegames in July 2005.
Now, following the success of the Beijinggames, he has been offered £110,000 for all 28 domain names by an undisclosed bidder.
However, Smith said he is holding out for a six-figure sum for each web address –which can be found online but remain unused –on the advice of his lawyers, as their value has already started to rocket. Until the negotiations are settled, he has made the websites inactive and is not marketing them.
He added: “We knew the demand would happen and the problem was trying to service it. We had so many enquiries from people trying to get accommodation in the UK.
“In one week alone we had 40 enquiries for groups of more than 25. We couldn’t service that [volume]. It needs to be [run by]an accommodation provider who has the bed bank facilities.“
Smith said he is prepared to sit tight, adding: “We’ve still got four years left [until the Olympics] –in two years‘ time it is going to go mad.”
Smith added the bidding war and his grilling of the Colombian president over security for tourists earlier this year have led to him being nominated for the business personality of the year in The Press Business Awards 2008 which is run by York’s local newspaper.
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