Intrawest’s revised plans for redevelopment of the Whistler Creek area were well received by a handful of Creekside merchants last week, but the area is bracing for a busy summer of truck traffic which will begin at the end of April.
The work program for the summer of 1999 will be primarily limited to work on Whistler Creek itself, including installation of debris catch basins, a new skier bridge and armouring the stream channel down to where London Lane crosses the creek. That work will involve considerable dump truck traffic around the Whistler Creek area this summer, Intrawest’s Doug Ogilvy told Creekside merchants.
The most significant revisions to the Creekside redevelopment plan unveiled last spring are a pedestrian overpass between the Skiers Plaza and the "village," allowing skiers to walk from the four-level parkade to the Creekside Gondola without having to negotiate vehicle traffic on the Lake Placid-London Lane loop. The village, an area of retail shops and services housed in small buildings, will slope down from the pedestrian overpass to the Highway 99/Lake Placid Road intersection at an 8 per cent grade.
Intrawest has also dropped the Whistler Station name announced last spring.
Ogilvy said the entire project still has to receive approval from the municipality, but the proposed construction schedule sees floodproofing of the lower part of Whistler Creek in 2000. That work includes a park between a new London Lane bridge and Highway 99 and realignment of the creek so that it flows under the highway at London Lane and into the Beaver Flats area.
Also planned for 2000 is construction of the new Dusty’s restaurant and bar, at the base of the Creekside Gondola, the Legends Lodge, between Dusty’s and Whistler Creek, and two buildings which will house equipment rentals and the children’s centre. The rental and children’s centre buildings will be the first two structures in the pedestrian village.
The four-storey parkade — which will be pay parking — will be built in 2001. The parkade will have spaces for about 1,400 vehicles but will take up only about one-third of the surface area currently used for parking. There is room for about 1,000 vehicles at Creekside now.
Construction of the rest of the pedestrian village is also planned for 2001. Intrawest intends to remain as landlord and lease the retail and service spaces in the village. A provincial liquor store is envisioned as one of the key tenants.
Other lodges, on Gondola Way and London Lane, will be built in response to market demands. Ogilvy said some of the lodges could be sold through Intrawest’s new IQ quarter-share program, where each unit has four owners.
In total Intrawest plans about 350 units, or 1,000 bed units, in the Creekside redevelopment. That figure does not include a hotel planned for the Taluswood area or a high-end subdivision above the Bear Creek subdivision.