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Rainbow tops the list of Whistler's favourite parks: poll

Approximately one third of respondents chose Rainbow as their preferred park, even after it closed for construction earlier this month. Here's how Whistler's other outdoor spaces rank.

Earlier this month, Pique's editor Braden Dupuis took to the opening pages of its June 2 issue to question how the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) could dare close his personal favourite park

That tongue-in-cheek rage came in response to news that Rainbow Park would close for construction on June 5. Most of the park—including the main beach, Valley Trail and parking lot—will remain off-limits for much of the next year while crews carry out a major refresh.

Dupuis reluctantly offered readers some alternative options for the meantime, in the form of "a highly subjective and personal guide to Whistler parks not named Rainbow."

As the summer season ramps up, we wanted to find out whether the community agreed with his evaluation.

Pique polled 239 readers and asked the question: Which Whistler park is your favourite?

Of those 239 votes, we can determine 52 came from IP addresses within the community.

As it turns out, most of them agree with Pique's editor.

Rainbow topped the list by a significant margin, with more than 31 per cent of all poll respondents naming it their favourite local park. With volleyball courts, an off-leash dog area, docks, a beach and panoramic views of Whistler, Blackcomb and Wedge Mountains, all located on the western shores of Alta Lake, it's true, Rainbow has a lot going for it. 

Lost Lake was the clear runner-up, earning nearly 23 per cent of all votes. Though Dupuis unfairly deemed it "the black sheep of Whistler’s outdoor leisure offerings," his assessment of Lost Lake as the resort's "wildest park" wasn't exactly wrong.

From tiny toads to a nude dock to the kilometres of mostly mellow mountain bike trails surrounding the lake, there's nowhere else like it. Bonus: the RMOW also operates a free Lost Lake shuttle each summer, accessible from Whistler Village. 

Alpha Lake Park finished in a distant third place, thanks to the nearly 11 per cent of respondents who chose the Creekside destination as their favourite local park. The water might be a little chillier than in nearby Alta Lake, but there is still a volleyball court, a play structure, a dock, sand and sun that sticks around for most of the day. What more could Whistler ask for?

Waterfront spots like Lakeside, Wayside and Meadow Park had a handful of fans, but the poll results make it clear some Whistler parks—Bayly, Florence Petersen, Millar's Pond and Rebagliati, for example—aren't quite as beloved as the local legends they're named after.

The full poll results are as follows:

Alpha Lake Park 5.77 % local, 10.88 % total    
Bayly Park 0.00 % local, 0.84 % total    
Blueberry Docks 3.85 % local, 2.93 % total    
Florence Petersen Park 0.00 % local, 0.42 % total    
Lakeside Park 7.69 % local, 8.79 % total    
Lost Lake Park 21.15 % local, 22.59 % total    
Meadow Park 5.77 % local, 6.28 % total    
Millar’s Pond Park 0.00 % local, 1.26 % total    
Rainbow Park 34.62 % local, 31.80 % total    
Rebagliati Park 1.92 % local, 1.67 % total    
Spruce Grove Park 3.85 % local, 1.67 % total    
Wayside Park 7.69 % local, 5.44 % total    
Other 7.69 % local, 5.44 % total    
  Local   Total

Results are based on an online study of adult Pique Newsmagazine readers that are located in Whistler. The margin of error - which measures sample variability - is +/- 6.28%, 19 times out of 20.

Pique Newsmagazine uses a variety of techniques to capture data, detect and prevent fraudulent votes, detect and prevent robots, and filter out non-local and duplicate votes.