Still room at the inn
Whistler, North America’s numero uno ski resort, has been touted by media as the place to be seen ringin’ in the new Millennium but all the positive press has come with a bit of an unexpected twist.
Tourism Whistler thinks it may have created a perception that the resort is full. The message Tourism Whistler now wants to get out is: there is still room at the inn and it is not too late to book that special holiday in a Millennium.
"There is that perception out there," said Tourism Whistler director of communications Connie Rabold. "Some media have been doing stories about the fact Whistler is the place to be this New Year’s but hurry up because we are going to be booked — which is great promotion on the one hand, but on the other, you don’t want people deciding not to come because we are full."
To counter this spin-off Tourism Whistler recently launched a multi-tiered marketing campaign geared at the regional market which includes British Columbia and Washington State.
"Our key messages are there is room at the inn, there is snow on the mountains and have you made your New Year’s plans yet? Because, some people haven’t made any plans yet. We are also offering some great deals, great events, there is a lot of entertainment going on in Whistler on New Year’s Eve and we have put together some affordable packages we are promoting very heavily," said Rabold. "We have also created a complete itinerary we are sending out to all media contacts, tour operators and all our industry partners and clients to promote that period. The other typical message is we have an excellent exchange rate."
Those Maximum Millennium packages include five nights accommodation, a four day lift pass to Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, $50 dining dollars for dinner in village restaurants, tickets to First Night celebrations in Whistler Village and a decadent welcome platter with chocolate and champagne. Prices start at $209 CDN per person per night based on double occupancy.
Rabold said the minimum stay in many cases has been reduced from seven nights to five. She said although reservations in the resort are only on par with last year for the same period, Whistler could yet see a turnaround as First Night draws closer.
"We are encouraging people to come on out. There are great deals and there is room... every place isn’t sold out. We are going after some of the media that have been saying we, or other destinations, are overbooked or overpriced and trying to get them to change their story."