Opening remarks April is the season of transition for Whistler April is the transition period in Whistler. Skiing ends on Whistler this weekend, finishes on Blackcomb in another few weeks. Mountain biking and other summer pursuits have already begun. With the end of the winter season many people will be leaving the valley, while a few others will return. But April 1995 seems to hold a greater transition than the usual change of seasons. The pace of change in Whistler is accelerating. The physical transition taking place with development is obvious and will be a part of many people's daily lives before long. When these changes are completed, most of them next December, there will be more changes, in the people shop, move about, where and when they conduct business. There will also be a change in scale of the Whistler village area that, after a transition period, most people will get used to. But the transitions the resort is going through are much more than physical, and not so visible to the eye. The mix of people who live in Whistler is changing. The number of young families moving to the valley and people starting families in the valley is increasing steadily. At the same time, a large percentage of the people purchasing property in Whistler are of an age where they expect to retire within the next decade. Where the new residents are coming from, and the background and experiences they bring with them, are also part of Whistler's transition. Exactly what that the valley is becoming is difficult to say, but a more diverse community will be a big part of it. The profile of visitors to Whistler is also changing, although perhaps not as quickly as the mix of residents. Visitors are coming from farther away — and not necessarily to ski. More and more destination visitors are coming to Whistler in the summer. As well, all indications are that the so-called shoulder season will be a brief lull. The convention and seminar business is taking hold in Whistler, filling beds and shops during April, May and June. This latest transition phase — a maturing some might call it — is of course a double-edged sword. The size and success of Whistler make it a less intimate, more complex place than it was five, 10, 15 and 20 years ago. But then, just about every thing and every place was less complex years ago. So consider April Whistler's month. Take time to think about Earth Day, remember the employees you worked alongside this winter and enjoy the transition season. – Bob Barnett


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