It is with interest that I read in the last issue of the Pique the very one-sided comments with respect to pay parking.
There is another side to the equation and others in the community that feel differently.
I am one, and have the following comments on some of the views expressed in the article. Firstly, all parking costs money - from the capital expenses to the construction, maintenance and insurance of the area. This is true of ALL parking, public, private and commercial. Given that, why should Whistler taxpayers help to fund parking for those who choose (yes, CHOOSE) to live out of the community and commute?
After all, they live and pay taxes elsewhere. As for comments from businesses that business is down because of pay parking, I ask, where is the independent study verifying this? After all it looks like Whistler Blackcomb has had another great year for skier visits.
Could it be that regional tourists are not coming here to shop but to play? I would also add that one only has to go to the Squamish stores on the weekend and see how many Whistler locals are shopping there, not to mention a well-publicized recession.
I believe there is much more at play here than pay parking. There are a number of reasons why paving the lots was a good thing.
We call ourselves a "world class resort" and, let's face it, tourism is our bread and butter. Before the lots were paved, we expected the people that come here to spend their money to drive though a pot-hole ridded and sometimes dangerous parking lot in the winter months and suffer through a thoroughly disgusting amount of dust clouds in the summer.
World class? I doubt it.
An even more important reason to pave is that now all the surface run off is chanelled into a bio-filter that cleans out the crap from our vehicles such as oil, gas and all the various ice melters used on the roads before they enter the Fitz Creek and Green River water systems.
If we really care about the environment, this is a MUST do, and we all know that sometimes being friendly to the environment can be costly.
To sum up, I feel that the people who use public parking lots should also be the ones that pay, not unlike, say, Meadow Park Sports Center - if you want to use the facility there is a user fee.
Why is this acceptable and not pay parking?
There is nothing in the Community Charter or the Local Government Act that requires a municipality to provide parking. In short, if you don't want to pay for parking, either change your lifestyle to reflect this or find alternate ways to get to work and play.
Also, if you look at the actual cost of commuting from Squamish or Pemberton, $13.50 is a very small percentage after fuel, capital costs, insurance and ongoing maintenance/repair of the vehicle.
Let's get over it, pay up and get on with the things that really need our energy to make this town a continued success!
Fewer visitors will come
While Whistlerites continue to fight over pay parking, let me offer some feedback from a Vancouver family that visits and spends money in Whistler.
I have a family of five. Whereas we used to come to Whistler five to six times in the summer for the day or overnight, we might come once or twice this year.
Why? Pay parking.
It's not that paying to park itself is a prohibitive cost, it's the principle of it. We know that Whistler is an expensive town, that's no secret, and we accept that. But for us, pay parking was the straw that broke the camel's back.
It sends a loud message to visitors: "Come to Whistler if you're one of the very few families that never has to think twice about your disposable income. Whistler is not just an expensive town, it's now officially a very expensive town. You now have to pay just to visit."
It's simple, really. Whistler will have fewer visitors like our family with pay parking. Families like ours have a lot of options on weekends. When the town does abolish it, put some ads in the Vancouver papers to let people know Whistler is open for business again.
Nothing but a cash grab?
With respect to the change in the parking situation with the Whistler lots, their move to paid parking makes very little sense to me.
I'm not privy to the inner workings and finances of RMOW and their profit sharing for the parking lots but this appears to be a cash grab and desperate effort by RMOW to make up for unrealized "forecast" sales.
That's a conversation for another time (WB's approach to "forecasting" vs. "sales targets." It should be based on benchmarks from previous seasons and industry standards for that year).
All that said, I am employed by WB and I know that that lift sales were nowhere near their forecast expectations (leading me to believe that they were more targets than they were structured and intelligently crafted forecasts) and this is an effort to level the playing field (though this was in the works for a few years).
What they need to do is very simply run a cost-benefit analysis; what do we have to gain, what do we have to lose.
Is the $9 in parking revenues worth risking the hundreds of dollars that will be spent on lift tickets, food, and beverages? (As well as moneys spent with the various vendors in Whistler Village).
Quick math tells you that all you need is roughly one in 20 (we'll say on average for argument's sake, assuming the individual buys two lift passes) to say they're not going to Whistler due to increased costs of attending the mountain for it not to work out in Whistler's favor.
Those are good betting odds. My view is that this was a shortsighted initiative; they saw a way to make money and weren't able to see the bigger picture - the forest for the trees, so to speak.
I'm not convinced that the powers that be at RMOW are sophisticated business thinkers, more likely they're municipal employees that saw an open door for some quick cash and made the move.
They're expecting the resistance to fade with time, maybe it will, but the effects on revenues will be undeniable and I haven't even mentioned the inconvenience and additional costs this puts on the locals that make minimum wage and are the heart and soul of the mountain, without which the mountain couldn't operate.
I look forward to seeing how the municipality handles this one.
Are we over-governed?
Al Raine, newly elected mayor of Sun Peaks, stated: "Many people are worried Sun Peaks will go the route of Whistler where rising taxes... have pushed out all but the elite."
Wondering about this, I became determined to test the validity of Al's comments. First, I compared taxes/square feet for town houses in Western Canadian ski resorts versus Whistler. Here we pay $3.41/sq.ft., elsewhere $1.78. Then I considered the municipality's spending per resident - our number $5,418 versus $1,291 for other small B.C. communities.
Our growth of per resident spending has been 66 per cent from 2000 to 2008, despite stagnant tourist numbers.
We are over-governed.
Kamloops has 0.8 per cent of residents as municipal employees, Canmore one per cent and White Rock 0.5 per cent - we have 3.5 per cent of residents as municipal employees. We even pay a gaggle of municipal employees generously, in fact in 2007 we had 15 employees making over $100,000 - White Rock and Port Moody had only five employees in six figures, while Kamloops had 14 over the magic mark. These municipalities have four times the population of Whistler on average.
We have titles galore - general manager of community life, manager of community planning, manager of resort planning, my favourite - manager of village animation and two general managers of resort experience! Compare this with Port Moody's titles - director of strategic planning and culture, director of planning and development and my favourite - director of engineering, parks and operations, who must be a busy boy compared to our charade of talent.
We are a small village with big city aspirations in the salary department. In 2007 our top three municipal employees earned $197,333, 42.5 per cent more than Kamloops, White Rock and Port Moody's top employees despite being five times our size. We pay more than the biggest cities - with Vancouver, Burnaby and Coquitlam paying on average $5,000 less per top employee, despite being 16 to 66 times larger communities.
If all this is not bad enough, I discover that the big ticket employees have expanded 60 per cent in number in the last two years and have received median increases of 16 per cent in remuneration - six times the inflation rate. The municipality is clearly out of control and the tail is wagging the dog, but the dog is going along with it.
We appear to be the only municipality in B.C. deducting one third of salaries from our council before reporting to taxpayers their cost. Our mayor's salary correctly reported would be $86,100, 50 per cent higher than reported at $57,100.
Are we on the slippery slope of lying to the electorate, joining Ireland, Greece and Iceland?
I'll let the reader decide the real reason we are about to enjoy pay parking.
Lennox McNeely, C.F.A
I am disappointed to see Sue Maxwell's misconception, misinterpretation and misstatements of our proposal for waste management and what we expel to the environment.
Our process is "not incineration" and offers an alternative to solid waste management, today, that is closer to "zero waste" than any alternative currently available and, in terms of time and temperature, the process is closer to composting than incineration.
There is no requirement to deliver a minimum amount of waste, in any year and if, as Ms. Maxwell states, at some point zero-waste can be achieved, there will be no need for our facility, nor any requirement to use it.
We too support the concept of reducing waste and believe society should be encouraged to reduce the waste within every process, especially government.
Our proposal addresses the current 50 tonnes/day of solid waste transported from Whistler to Washington and the regional district's alternative of increasing the landfill site in Squamish to bury it in the ground.
The process we propose utilizes all aspects of that waste and delivers nothing to landfills and reduces the current environmental damage.
We ask that Ms. Maxwell and any others who want to better understand our proposal, either go to www.suseco.ca , where we have made information available, or the RMOW website (council package 03/15/11).
Our two-stage process takes waste and, at temperatures lower than incineration, converts it to residual ash and gas. The process uses the gas to create energy and CO2, which after scrubbing to remove any noxious elements, is utilized to enable local food supply through the operation of the greenhouse and aquaponic facility.
Because our process is not incineration of the solid waste, there is the added benefit that metals and glass, not currently recycled, will be available for recycling from our system and the residual ash will be utilized as a fly-ash substitute for cement in concrete products. (Side-note to zero waste: every 10 pounds of ash used as cement-substitute reduces global CO2 emissions by three pounds.)
Until the altruistic point when zero waste can be achieved and as the most viable alternative to trucking to the U.S. or landfill in Squamish, the near-term benefits offered in our proposal, are:
• annual taxpayer savings of $600,000+ to process solid waste
• local production of vegetables and salmon
• increase in the amount of current waste that is recycled
• creation of upwards of 25 local jobs,
• a lower community carbon-footprint and increased sustainability
• support for Whistler Community Services
• a university research facility
To get there is a three-stage process:
First the land must be included for potential industrial-use consideration in the Official Community Plan update, to enable the facility and greenhouses to operate at the site.
Then a request will be made to rezone the land for industrial use in exchange for a commitment to deliver the outlined community-benefits.
And finally a request will be made asking the community to contract for solid waste processing, utilizing this method.
Each of these steps provides opportunity for the community to offer input and debate the merits of the proposal.
What is necessary now, so we can start the public and open debate on the proposal, is for any members of the community who feel there is merit in what is being offered, to email or write the Mayor and council at Mayor@whistler.ca or Bill Brown in RMOW Planning at email@example.com and encourage them to include this land in the OCP update for industrial use consideration.
Please copy us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can monitor any progress.
City Centre Homes Ltd
A Modest Pay Parking Proposal
As council allegedly speaks for the people, perhaps council should actually give the people an opportunity to be heard on the issue of pay parking.
I propose that council delay the implementation of the June 1 pay parking plan, pending a referendum to be placed on the November ballot (it won't cost anything more).
Reconfigure the Parking Lot Operating Committee to include at least an equal composition of business owners, residents, employees and visitors. The employee/visitor category may not be registered Whistler voters but there is no doubt that they are affected parties as well.
The current committee configuration of two RMOW staff and two Whistler Blackcomb staff is neither representative nor unbiased.
Task the new committee with the creation of a neutral ballot measure which will provide council with input from those very people who are affected by your decisions and whom you represent.
As a suggestion, ask the electorate if they would (a) repeal all pay parking in muni lots; (b) leave in place the current model (prior to the June 1 implementation); (c) support the June 1 implementation; (d) support some type of pay parking but with a free parking component for the first three hours; (d) support discounted parking passes for some/all/none; etc.
I would also request that council reaffirm their oath of office and agree in advance to adopt and implement the will of the people as expressed in the referendum.
Those council members who refuse to agree (or who waffle or shuck-jive as this council is wont to do) should be voted out in November.
Isn't it time that the members of council solicited and followed the voice of the people who voted them into office?
Competing candidates, let's hear from you as well. By the way, if you feel like doing something between periods of the game, email Shannon Story, Chief Election Officer for the Resort Municipality of Whistler: email@example.com and tell her you want the referendum.
True ski mountaineeering
Although I enjoyed the story, I found the article "The rise of Ski Mountaineering" ( Pique May 12, 2011), had little to do with the sport as I have come to know it.
Mountaineering has always been about the route, the line, the way up a mountain. A route could be chosen for many reasons: difficulty, or lack there of, speed, length, aesthetics, etc. But the point was to climb a mountain by a particular line.
In the 60s a group of mountaineers, Sylvan Sudan, Jean Marc Boivin, Anselme Baud, Patrick Vallencant among them, began skiing routes in the Alps that previously were strictly the domain of mountaineers.
That's not to say that their vision of "ski Mountaineering" had to take place on wild steep climbing lines. Rather it showed that skiers could look at mountains the same way mountaineers did; to see a particular line on a mountain and desire to ski it.
In the 80s, Whistler locals Trevor Petersen and Eric Pehota cut their teeth on those established European lines and brought "Ski Mountaineering" to Whistler.
They led a group of skiers who started climbing rock, ice and mountains to learn the skills they needed to be stronger in the mountains and be better "Ski Mountaineers." The term "extreme" had lost all meaning as it was used to market everything from lunch boxes to socks. It was Trevor who first said, "Ya, that's it. That's what we do. We're Ski Mountaineers."
If you stand on the top of either Whistler or Blackcomb and look out into the backcountry, pretty much every peak you can see was skied by this group that Trev 'n Eric led. From Cayley to Tantalus, from James Turner to Currie. When they did the Spearhead traverse it took three to five days, they climbed and skied every mountain they could, and they called this Ski Mountaineering. It wasn't about speed or competition, it was about getting to know the mountains, climbing and skiing lines, in the mountains.
Their vision of ski mountaineering opened Alaska, inspired riders from the Rockies to the Tetons, and changed the sport of skiing in North America forever.
I mean no disrespect to the accomplishment of doing the Spearhead in six and a half hours. I think that is amazing.
Or the phenomenal achievements of world class athlete Greg Hill, who literally eats vertical for breakfast. But doesn't this, along with the articles wonderful Norwegian skiing history already have a name? Ski Touring, or Randonnee.
I know it was not intentional but by focusing on the roots of skiing and touring in Norway you missed the history here, and what we, here in the Coastal Mountains of Southwest B.C. call, "Ski Mountaineering."
Amenity Hub idea still a go?
I'm a little surprised that the Amenity Hub project is still alive. Although there's $200,000 in RMI (hotel tax) funds earmarked for a feasibility study, the municipality might want to take note that almost all the proposed infrastructure in the amenity hub already exists in the village.
There's a centrally located bus loop that can be easily expanded by closing off the nearby parking spaces; not that it's running at anywhere near capacity. As far as the check-in service is concerned, why would smaller property managers who aren't offering check-in service at their own properties want to do it through a third party? Unless council is willing to pass a by-law compelling them to use the amenity hub (if they could do that, why not compel them to run their own check-in service?), that's going to be a dead end. The $7,200,000 slated for this project could easily find a better home in the community.
There's yet another $120,000 grant going to the Sustainability Centre, as well as $200,000 to renovate a building for them, which irks me personally, as groups like the local Montessori School can't get a municipal space despite being willing to pay cash money for a lease. With a mission of bringing Whistler's brand of sustainability to communities outside Whistler, and with projects in Invermere, Kimberly, Osoyoos, Fernie and Harrison Hot Springs, it's hard to see how they would even remotely qualify for funding from Whistler's hotel tax.
If upgrading Lots 4 and 5 qualifies for RMI funding, maybe that money could be better used for capital repayment on the work already done. The biggest impediment to turning those lots back into free parking is the cost of the capital re-payment, almost $1,000,000 per year, so paying it with RMI funds would go a long way in that direction.
All the help I needed
I feel compelled to write a letter after reading "Help those who need it" by Sophie Rivers, in Pique May 5, 2011.
My experience was totally different. It has been 14 months since I was able to put a shoe on my left leg. On Jan. 20, 2010 I broke my leg on Blackcomb Mountain skiing to work. It has been a long, arduous year from basically not being able to do anything, to starting with a walker, graduating to crutches and finally being able to put on a shoe and starting to walk. Well, that is a bit of a stretch, let's call it limping.
I don't think I could have been in a better place than Whistler. The support and help I received from family, friends and strangers was so uplifting.
My excursions via car were quite limited, from home in Spruce Grove to Nesters Market and Meadow Park Recreation Centre.
The staff at Nesters were always offering help, carrying my shopping basket or taking my groceries out to the car.
Strangers in the parking lot watching me struggle with the walker, asking immediately if I needed help.
How fortunate we are to have the rec centre in Whistler. I practically lived there. I alternated my activities between the pool and the gym five to six days a week.
Thank you all (rec centre staff and patrons) for the support and encouragement to keep me going. Without the rec centre I think I would have lost it.
Thank you to all my friends for the books, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, puzzle books, wool for knitting, anything that would help me burn the hours of the day. (There are so many hours in a day, if your movements are limited.)
Thank you for all the dinner invitations which I gratefully accepted, only after I found out how many outside steps, dogs or children I would have to deal with.
Also, many thanks to ski patrol, who tended to me and my injuries on that life-changing day in a very professional manner.
Next week I will be seeing my grandchildren in Ontario for the first time since the accident. Life is good. Thank you Whistler, thank you Heather, thank you Doug.
Remember your riders
Bus drivers, please, if you will, I beg a moment of your time. This is meant as a courtesy, not a knock.
Many of you do your jobs with the utmost diligence and friendliness, this is for the not so many.
Being a transit driver is just another job, granted, but as you are working for/with the public, there are certain implications that arise. Among said implications, safety is paramount and is, therefore, the driving force behind most of the proceeding hints:
Speed: making "good time" makes no sense. You are paid to be at a certain place at a certain time and the schedule allows enough time for you to be there driving at the posted speed. If the schedule does not allow enough time, driving faster is not the answer, talking to your manager is.
You are entrusted with the lives of many citizens and the fractions of minutes saved on each journey aren't worth their safety.
Schedule: if in doubt, be a minute late rather than early.
While a minute's wait at a bus stop may seem like a small margin for you, the "butterfly effect" that can precipitate, for someone who needs to catch the bus, can quickly add up to a large margin.
Speed 2.0 (Comfort as a passenger): speed bumps are not ramps and roads are not banked. Maybe you do not realize it because you are sitting at the front of the bus, which is more balanced, or because you so often drive that you do not know the feeling of being a passenger.
The bus is awkwardly weighted so negotiating turns and speed bumps as if you were in an automobile doesn't make for a comfortable ride. It is not comfortable getting air-borne, which you may not notice due to instinctual bracing for the upcoming road and that fancy bouncy seat you have.
Do what you need to do, listen to Bob Marley, or breathe deeply or whatever it takes but before your shift calm yourself and please remember that you have jobs because of the people who take the bus; keep them happy and you will in turn set yourself free.
Apologies to Jan Jansen and the RMOW for not sharing your latest "vision" for the Great Social Experiment here in Whistler, under the guise of reducing GHG's which in turn saves the planet.
IF that were a priority then we would not have gone down the path taken on transit. What actually happened was to embrace the most costly, inefficient mode possible. Three levels of government committed $100 million to the H2 program alone. Let's not forget an exponential amount of NatGas is used in manufacturing H2. Make no mistake there are NO savings in GHG emissions if that is any concern.
Whistler taxpayers' portion is $28.5 million of this. For that amount of money there could be a valley-wide free transit system using NatGas, negating the need for parking revenue to pay for it.
Another obvious decision would have been to locate our newest high density neighborhoods closer to the village core. If Cheakamus Crossing was located at a ski-out, serviced by W/B lift system then we would realize reduced need for personal vehicle use and costly transit service.
The market housing located at such a location would be very desirable and sold long ago. A conscious decision was made to not go this route and these same decision makers are now telling us we have to pay for it.
Keeping in mind the recent upgrades to HWY 99 and the provincial government commitment to the Gateway project Whistler as a resort has no option other than to embrace rubber tire regional tourism as it's core clientele.
Analogies to what Paris or London has done regarding automobile use are moot. We are a small town connected to our market by long distances. This propensity to apply big city planning to a small town is by definition completely unaffordable.
For the sake of village businesses I hope the RMOW re-thinks this decision. Parking in lots 6, 7, 8 is not an option during the summer.
Raising the fear of commercialization for lots 1 through 5 by private business seems odd. Is that not what Creekside currently is?
No more taxpayer money should go toward this program. Come next November I would give it a 98 per cent chance of being eliminated.
At what point does the RMOW step back and re-evaluate the pay parking for what it actually is?
It's a ridiculously misguided money-grab. Since day one of the pay parking going into effect we have been fed numbers to try and prove to us that it has been a success.
The numbers tell us that pay parking as a whole has been a positive thing for the village (really?). However, common sense, open eyes and a little logic are all it takes to realize that it very much has not been. To those of us who were here prior to last winter it's not hard to remember a time when, on any given day, the day lots were FULL.
I'm not talking about just Lots 4 and 5, either. I mean, all of them!
As a result of people actually using these lots it was not hard to notice a rather drastic difference in the number of people throughout the Village Stroll as well compared to what we see now.
As mentioned by many people in last weeks "letters to the editor", it is quite obvious to anyone living here that the pay parking income is mainly coming from the meters, NOT the parking lots themselves as we are being led to believe.
How the incredibly negative effects of pay parking were overlooked, and continue to be overlooked is beyond me.
As a person employed within the Hotel industry it has become an embarrassment to try to explain, and somehow justify to visitors the fee on it's own, let alone the actual dollar figure attached to it.
To think that $13 a day does not serve as a deterrent to those thinking about coming for only a day or two is to be very closed minded. On it's own $13 isn't that significant. Yet if you begin to factor in the cost of lift tickets, food, gas to get here, lodging while here, rentals for many, and then top all that off with a pay parking charge for everyday of the visit, then it starts to become a real issue.
It has been hailed time and time again as an effort to reduce the carbon footprint of our town. Yet monthly passes are non-transferrable, meaning no sharing car-pools, proving once again that reducing our carbon footprint has NOTHING to do with it.
As someone who has lived in the Creekside area for a number of years it is also very easy to see how pay parking in the village has changed the lives of many living in that area.
Prior to pay parking Creekside Gondola, in a sense was the "locals gondola," sure there were plenty of tourists there on any given day.
However, given the location and where it dropped you at the top it was rather empty compared to the Whistler Gondola in the village. Now it has become common to find the lift line at Creekside Gondola, on any weekend, backed up to (if not over) the bridge over the road.
It's not an amazing new zone opening on that side of the mountain that has brought this change. Not at all. Rather, it's people doing everything they can to avoid pay parking.
As mentioned by so many already, it's time our council starts to think of the people they represent rather than just how they can tax/charge residents/visitors in order to cover their own outlandish spending habits.
People are being forced out of this town as a result of the lack of jobs at the moment. That has become very obvious over the last six to eight months.
Why then is the RMOW council doing everything it can to make sure that the numbers of people visiting the village only continues to drop? Which will surely transfer into lost jobs. How many more times will long term owners of stores/shops throughout the village need to stand up to show their opposition of pay parking before somebody at the RMOW starts to care? With the way things are going now, and the number of storeowners who have spoken up, it's only a matter of time before we start to lose stores/shops that have been here for quite some time.
The big picture
We would like to thank Village of Pemberton Councillor (Susie) Gimse and (Ted) Councillor Craddock for seeing the big picture when voting against the application by Cedar View Estate.
The application was a request for a Temporary Commercial Use Permit to legitimize the illegal wedding event business carried out last summer on this rural property - a property (that) is part of the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).
As clearly outlined in the FAQ on www.pemberton.ca, Cedar View Estate requires Agriculture Land Commission (ALC) approval for non-farm use as a condition of zoning approval, but has not applied for it and does not appear to be eligible.
Couples choose to come to Pemberton to wed because of the beautiful scenery and the lovely rural atmosphere - as do tourists.
Allowing commercial enterprises on land that has been set aside as Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) threatens to reduce access to the beautiful landscape - and hinder the very reason the wedding and tourism industry is attracted to the valley.
Why bother with all the work on the Official Community Plan, which designates the property as Residential/Agricultural, if spot zoning is going to be the practice?
If this property is allowed to rezone and hold large outdoor events in a residential neighbourhood, what is to stop it from happening beside you? There are exceptional wedding event venues on commercially zoned property around Pemberton, where the owners are supporting the community by paying commercial property taxes rather than the lower residential taxes Cedar View Estate enjoys.
They also conform to the Vancouver Coastal Heath regulations regarding food safety and sewage disposal.
They can handle weddings of up to 250-300 people (the upper limit advertised by Cedar View) without negatively impacting residents.
The owners of Cedar View Estate showed complete disregard for neighbours and there was excessive noise during multiple weekends in summer 2010.
It truly is a shame that the owners of Cedar View Estate weren't upfront with the couples whose weddings they booked this summer. Although their problem was identified in April of 2010, they continued to take bookings and operate without legal zoning, operating permits or food premises approvals, adequate provision for sewage disposal, and without seeking permission from the ALC, all of which suggests their business practices are questionable - and definitely inconsistent with the culture of our community.
Thanks, Councillors Ted and Susie!
You are completely supported by the facts. We encourage everyone to review the FAQ and reports posted on the home page of www.Pemberton.ca.
Randy Lincks, Karen Goodwin, Jack and Jenifer Reynolds and Lonnie and Susie Wray
The Arrogance of Employers
Why is it that although almost every job I apply for requires that I have great communication skills, my prospective employers do not even have skills enough to thank me for my application? Now self-employed.
After 13 years as a renter in Whistler I have made the move to Squamish and become a dreaded Whistler commuter.
While I do appreciate the many conveniences that Squamish affords, my move south has more to do with proximity to wild Steelhead rivers than affordable housing.
I still feel that Whistler is home and I think this has to do with the amazing and eclectic group of individuals that have managed to carve out a life and create a community here. It really is true: life is good in the mountains. Given the natural ebb and flow of resort economics I suspect the big challenge for Whistler will always be to keep long term residents comfortably housed and gainfully employed.
While the volatile nature of the local market enables some to fleece and leach desperate locals, a precious few community builders facilitate the creation of sustainable jobs and affordable quality housing.
This point was highlighted during the Olympic period when many long-term residents were displaced in favour of short-term financial gain. My roommate and I were lucky, rather than pimp out our rental suite and parking spots our landlords Broph and Jackie kept it real by keeping things... well... normal.
So thank you for thinking local and thanks for collecting the mail, tolerating loud music, late night hot tub parties, fire spinners in the front lawn, late rent payments, wolf dogs, early morning fishing trips, loud friends, subsistence gardening, the overflowing storage room and lost house keys.
Thanks for including us in the good times and treating us like family and basically setting the gold standard for Whistler landlords.
Broph and Jackie represent the Whistler dream, a balanced life with the right mix of outdoor recreation, good times and hard work. If you don't know this pair you've definitely seen them, living the good life and passing along the Whistler culture of doing things the right way. Next time you run into these true Whistlerites on the ski hill, golf course, sunny patio or job site thank them for keeping Whistler classy.