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"Hopefully they'll (the RMOW) be able to make a decision in early or late summer for 2014 because we cannot wait until January to find out if we get funding, it's too late," Nelson said. "We need to be out of the gate strong by September, October at the latest with whatever funding we have available to us so we can get that message out there and start stealing that market share from other destinations that are being very, very aggressive with their LGBT tourism.
"Whistler has a choice. Do you really want to attract this market, which is, in my opinion, quite lucrative for the resort?" asked Nelson.
WinterPRIDE is one of the events selected by the RMOW for an economic impact study, but those results are not available at this time.
Whistler Chamber of Commerce president Fiona Famulak said that, anecdotally, the festival was a success. "Our members in the hospitality sector had a very good week," she said, particularly for the second weekend of the festival which dovetailed with the first B.C. Family Day holiday.
Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, a judge at the Mr. Gay Canada competition, said she would be very disappointed if the festival didn't return in 2014.
"I was speaking with people who were at the fashion show and the contest on Thursday night and they were talking about persecution they have had in other countries, and how they just love the welcome they get in Whistler, and how they feel safe — how they feel the inclusive atmosphere here, so it would be very disappointing if WinterPRIDE went elsewhere next year," said Wilhelm-Morden.
While there are no solid numbers to work from Wilhelm-Morden said that from all accounts the festival went well.
This year for the first time WinterPRIDE was held over the same weekend, Feb 8 to 11, as the new Family Day statutory holiday in B.C., making the resort a busy place.
According to Whistler Blackcomb 85,000 skiers and snowboarders took advantage of British Columbia's newest holiday weekend.
"From Friday to Monday we managed to draw the kind of daily visit numbers we see over our busiest time periods like U.S. Presidents' Week and Christmas holidays," said Dave Brownlie, president and CEO of Whistler Blackcomb.
"As the numbers prove, this date allowed us to capture incremental visitation in the month of February, and B.C. residents were given their holiday a week before an already peak time period over the third weekend of February when Presidents' Week and other provincial Family Days take place."
Canada West Ski Areas Association, Whistler Blackcomb, Tourism Whistler and other tourism-based businesses successfully promoted BC Family Day to fall on the second weekend of February instead of the third week originally proposed.
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