Whistler trying to stop business slide
WHISTLER, B.C. Based on hotel rooms booked, Whistler’s business has been down 4 percent this year. But the overall decline from Whistler’s peak during the winter of 2000-2001 has been 19 percent.What to do? Tourism officials have been strategizing hard for most of the last year, and it appears they haven’t quit. “We need to deliver new products, especially for the family market,” said Barrett Fisher, president of Tourism Whistler, the primary promotion group. Whistler also plans to target gays and other specialized market groups, he said. Among the new projects will be a wellness-themed event, to be done in cooperation with the 20 spas at the resort. Fisher also said that Whistler must overcome a perception that its expensive, brought on partly by the strengthening Canadian dollar. Meanwhile, there is much talk in Whistler whether the town will ante up the bucks for a 5,000-seat ice arena. The arena would be used for the Paralympic Games, to be held in 2010 in conjunction with the Winter Olympics. With construction costs rapidly rising, the town may be asked to come up with the money. There has been some discussion of having a downvalley community, Squamish, take on the project.Nick Davies, the acting mayor of Whistler, says he believes Whistler’s business will continue to slide. “My view is we need some shock-and-awe tactics,” he said.Revelstoke resort closer to realityREVELSTOKE, B.C.- The Revelstoke Times Review reports that efforts to build a major new ski resort at Mount MacKenzie have traction. The newspaper says only minor glitches hindering an agreement between the developers, Robert Powaduk and Hunter Milbourn, and the city of Revelstoke. The city is selling them 69 acres, thereby enabling the construction of a ski village.The Times Review also reports that Paul “Bones” Skelton, the manager of ski operations for Intrawest at Whistler, has a three-year contract to work on the runs and other components of the ski operation.
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