No late bar closings for Whistler 

But staff recommendations don’t deal with noise and violence, Wade says

Municipal staff has recommended to council that Whistler bars should not stay open until 4 a.m.

Instead, staff has suggested a standardized system of closing times, which would allow cabarets to stay open until 2 a.m. and lounges, pubs and restaurants to stay open until 1 a.m.

The report came before council at the Oct. 6 council meeting.

Though she recognized the comprehensive and detailed report, Councillor Marianne Wade said these recommendations do not deal with the noise and violence issues in Whistler during the early hours of the morning.

She asked council to create a task force to examine those issues. The Noise and Violence Committee that Wade is part of will become that task force.

"Closing the doors and saying we’re closed for business at two o’clock in the morning isn’t going to solve our problems," she said after the council meeting.

"We already have that problem and have been dealing with that problem for a while."

Wade explained that the standardized 2 a.m. closings do not deal with the issue of large numbers of people funnelling into Village Square after the bars close. This flood of people puts pressure on the buses and taxis and police services as people wait to get out of the village.

Wade said as long as people are waiting in the village, the potential for noise and violence increases exponentially.

"What I’m saying is there’s other options out there and let’s examine those options and let the people who are in the problem and having to deal with it, come up with the solutions," she said.

The province extended bar hours last December. The new regulations allowed bars to stay open until 4 a.m. as long as they had support of the local government. To date council has been wary of granting 4 a.m. closing times to any applicants, mainly over concerns of noise and violence.

Dale Schweighardt, general manager of Buffalo Bill’s, said there’s generally two schools of thought when it comes to 4 a.m. closings.

On one side people believe the parties will start later and so the 2 to 4 a.m. noise issue will become a 4 to 6 a.m. issue.

Then there’s the other side who believe people will naturally start filtering home around 2 a.m. so that by 4 a.m. noise will be minimal.

Schweighardt said a trial run of 4 a.m. closings would be a good idea. For example, bars could get a special license for certain events.


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