We took a tour of the USA House today, which is the US Olympic Committee hospitality home during the games. You must be invited, but once you are there, it's an open buffet, open bar and lots of big screens to watch the games live and with the NBC Broadcast.
The home is a tradition that started with the 2002 Winter games in Salt Lake City. To get an invite, you must be an Olympic family, a member of one of the National Governing Bodies, sponsors, suppliers, donors, IOC members and other international guests.
We were able to attend for coverage purposes. Peter Zeyhoonjian with the USOC says at roughly 7,000 square feet, it's the smallest USA House to date. They are expecting 1,000 guests during the games. Their is a toast offered for Olympians who visit the house after winning a medal, and a place for them to sign the wall.
The space is open, contemporary and has an organic feel. In contrast, there is a massive video wall where Olympic which shows live competition and social media feeds.
There is a courtyard shared with NBC which uses a similar adjacent space for its clients. It's anchored by a must-visit retail store for Americans at the game. There is a side entrance and no invitation is necessary for you to run up a tab on your VISA.
Nike, Ralph Lauren and Oakley sell the authentic gear worn by the athletes. Americans snatched up the $595 RL patchwork sweater to wear to the Opening Ceremony and it's now out of stock.
There is a matching scarf selling for $148 which the athletes will wear in Closing Ceremony. The silver shiny Nike Medal Ceremony jacket is selling fast at $400. The store has been open just five days, and already size selection is limited. The line at the register was steady during our whole visit. I looked, but didn't buy...yet!