The Naked Truth 

Exotic entertainment may not be right for new Whistler

A new bylaw and provincial liquor law could change the way we look at public nudity — literally.

Until recently Whistler has always been a freewheeling and liberal place, largely built from the ground up by squatters and hippies looking for a good time and a good place to build a skier’s Utopia.

On the way to becoming one of the top mountain resorts in the world, the vibe became a little (or a lot) more conservative. What was once hailed as a legendary party town, a kind of mountainside New Orleans, is now being flaunted as a family destination.

This shift in values and social politics was so gradual that few of the older residents even noticed it until it was too late. This paper is regularly flooded with letters from the community every time one of the old traditions or liberalisms comes into conflict with the new ethos.

Some recent examples of this include: the fallout over Dusty’s Last Stand; the persecution of drunken revelers on New Year’s Eve; the clamping down on beer drinking in public parks; the eviction of campers out of Lot 5; the cancellation of the annual Ullr party; and the threatened prosecution of buck naked sunbathers on the infamous nude dock at Lost Lake.

Of all the items on this shortened list of ideological conflicts, the battle over the nude dock was one of the most spirited in recent memory. Getting naked is one of Whistler’s oldest and most treasured traditions, and the mere suggestion that those days could be over prompted one reader to write the following tirade:

"Because of one ‘official complaint’ the city officials, in their infinite wisdom, are going to yet again take something away from the locals to appease the rich… As time has passed the RMOW is surpassing the few, small pleasures that the locals have and cherish to satisfy the one tourist who comes up once a year… The nude dock has existed at Lost Lake for more than 20 years."

Nudity is a part of Whistler, from the Toad Hall poster that defines the spirit of the old Whistler, to the Barely Whistler postcards that hang in every tourist shop. The recent Barely Whistler party attracted hundreds of skin enthusiasts, and every legendary party has involved a little T and A. Dusty’s Last Stand got a little racy. Punk band Blink 182 filmed a music video on the mountain that featured a group of nude female snowboarders. Nudity is almost a staple of gay week festivities, one of Whistler’s biggest draws. At the last Extremely Canadian Pimp and Ho party, Guitar Doug walked around naked for almost the entire evening.

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