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AC35: Two photos worth more than a thousand words, and tens of millions of dollars?

HAMILTON, BER – The Bermuda government is spending upwards to $77 million to host the America's Cup in hopes that Cup-related tourism and TV coverage will help get Bermuda back on to a path of fiscal stability – a country with a $5b GDP and over $2b in national debt. With the Cup commencing in two days, here are two signs of the America's Cup times in Hamilton....

As seen tonight at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club, the Golden Gate Yacht Club's home away from home. AC merch is already being discounted 30%. As one friend put it, "A bad sign [no pun intended] when they are blowing out AC gear and the main event hasn't even started." What will the mark-down be next week?

Then there is this ghostly photo taken at the Hamilton Princess tonight, where it looks like most of the entire top floor is dark. Okay, maybe there's some hot action going on behind all those closed curtains, or maybe those rooms are all committed to ACEA and/or sponsors like Oracle Corp who will put them to use on the weekend. For the sake of Bermuda, one can only hope. But the word around town, from any number of sources, is that the AC has way overpromised and underperformed, and the mounting disappointment will get Prime Minister Dunkley fired in the snap national election that has been called for July. Dramatically overpriced hotel rooms have scared people off, and now it's too late to recover. Small operators that aren’t gouge-pricing are full, or nearly so, but many high-rent rooms are going begging.