There were no solutions found to Whistler’s growing pains at Sunday’s town hall meeting, but some significant trends were identified, which should make solutions somewhat easier to find.
Conspicuously absent again at this the third annual town hall meeting were Whistler’s youths, although Blackcomb being open to the valley may have had something to do with that.
The report on the 1996 community and resort monitoring program provided some clues as to the direction Whistler is headed in, although many were obvious. This year’s report notes that Whistler is at a critical stage in its history "as pressures to increase development continue. In assessing the impacts of future development, key indicators will be the visitor experience and resident satisfaction."
The report indicates that buildout is likely to occur around the year 2003, given current trends.
Socially, Whistler is becoming much more family oriented, with the school population increasing faster than the overall population. Part of this is due to the fact that increasing numbers of second homeowners are now sending their children to school in Whistler. In addition to more children, the number of husband and wife families in Whistler grew by 70 per cent between 1990 and 1994, compared to the provincial average of 15.5 per cent growth over the same period.
On the housing front, next year’s monitoring program will include an updated survey to determine the types of employment and the number of employees in Whistler. Municipal Planner Kim Needham outlined in her presentation the concept of a "critical mass" of employees living in a resort. Aspen, she noted, had identified this critical mass as 60 per cent of employees. If that 60 per cent figure is to be achieved, she said, Whistler will need 3,500 more employees living in town at buildout.
- average single family lot increased almost $100,000 in price from 1995 to 1996, from $229,247 to $321,215.