Imagine sitting in a luxury, three-bedroom home in Whistler, B.C., looking out of your living room as the world's top ski racers zoom across the finish line in the men's downhill or giant slalom at the 2010 Winter Olympics in February.
You can house eight people - maybe a few more, if you use the couch - and you have a private hot tub, a two-car garage and access to a nearby lodge with sauna, steam room and heated swimming pool.
Sound intriguing? Then imagine paying $3,000 Canadian per night for your stay, which, even converted into U.S. dollars, is something north of $2,800.
But maybe this takes some of the sting out of it: The money would go to charity.
The mountainside condominium, owned by George Peat, a part-time resident of Point Roberts, Wash., is the top-of-the-line offering of "Home For The Games," a nonprofit created to tap the demand for Olympics-season housing as a way of helping the homeless.
The 140 accommodations listed with Home For The Games range from single rooms in the Vancouver area for $100 a night to entire homes in four-digit territory. Nearly half the properties are listed for $200 a night or less.
There's no fee to list a property with the organization, but owners agree to turn over half the proceeds to Home For The Games, which splits the money between two Vancouver-based charities: Streetohome Foundation, which helps homeless mentally ill, and Covenant House Vancouver, which assists young victims of physical or emotional abuse.
Peat's family opted to take the spirit of giving one step further, donating the other half of the revenue from their Whistler home to a scholarship fund at St. George's School, the Vancouver private school that Peat and his three teenage sons attended.
"It's a decision we made after talking it over as a family," Peat said. "I see some of these kids on the street and think that except for a couple of decisions and a different environment, there go my kids."
Peat let Home For The Games decide how much to ask for his property, located in the 22-unit exclusive development, "At Nature's Door." He's heard of other Whistler homes - not as close to an Olympics venue - going for $2,000 to $2,500 a night.
Peat, 56, who has dual U.S.-Canadian citizenship, was born in New England and raised in British Columbia. He retired a decade ago as an engineering executive in the oil-and-gas industry, and his family now divides its year between homes in England and on Point Roberts, a tip of land jutting from British Columbia into the U.S. west of Blaine.
The family plans to spend the first week of the Olympics in Vancouver, then possibly shift to Whistler, staying with relatives.
Peat had decided to donate use of his Whistler condo, then learned of Home For The Games from a contact at a Vancouver children's charity.
Home For The Games grew out of a kitchen-table conversation last summer at a Vancouver house shared by five residents, including Charles Montgomery, 41, an author and magazine writer. "This is a great town. It really is," Montgomery said. "But like in many big cities, you will see some sadness in our streets. ... Homeless has become a very serious problem."
Montgomery and his housemates decided to rent the spare room in their home, and give half the take to charity. "And then we thought: Wait a minute. If we would do that, wouldn't other people in the city do that?"
The idea took off after local television crews crowded into the house for a news conference at the kitchen table, where the idea was born. Friends and neighbors volunteered to get the organization up and running.
As of this week, Home For The Games still is taking listings, has booked about three dozen, and hopes to raise $750,000 for charity. In addition to Peat's donation, several other property owners have decided to give away more than half their proceeds.