MY Millennium Place jumped through an important hoop Monday, when an agreement was reached to transfer ownership of the building from the Whistler Interfaith Society to the municipality.
“Having been on the front lines of this, the whole thing quiet delicate, and the purpose of us approving this tonight is to assure the (interfaith) membership when the report goes forward to them that… we will follow through,” said Councillor Tim Wake.
“I would like to say there is plenty of trust there, but I think that would be a shot of good faith.”
The terms were reached during a meeting last week. The transfer agreement is needed before for the municipality begins re-paying the North Shore Credit Union’s $3.2 million loan.
Now, the last hurdle left rests with the interfaith society, which plans to approve the terms at their Dec. 7 annual general meeting.
An earlier draft of the agreement was shot down by the interfaith agreement two months ago. But the president of the society, Peter Shrimpton, seems more confident with the current arrangement.
“Although the society would prefer to retain ownership of the lease and building, the revised terms of the transfer and of the future use by the faith communities now appear satisfactory to our board,” Shrimpton said on Wednesday, Nov. 19.
“We will be recommending acceptance to our members and therefore its approval at our AGM on Dec. 7. We expect the transfer to be completed soon thereafter.”
Shrimpton added that the society has been trying to retire the loan themselves, but the tough economic times made it difficult. But he expects the society will continue trying to raise the funds over the next five years, while their option to purchase the multi-use building is still in place.
“The recent efforts of the RMOW in facilitating this settlement are most appreciated,” said Shrimpon.
Hostel signs agreement with mayor
The operator of what will become a 180-bed hostel in Cheakamaus Crossing after the Olympics signed a partnership agreement with Mayor Ken Melamed Monday to work towards Whistler 2020 goals.
Alistair McLean from Hostelling International Canada said he is looking forward to moving the hostel from its current location near Alta Lake to the Olympic athletes’ village, adding that construction is on budget and three months ahead of schedule.
“Our current space falls short of the demand we have from people visiting us from all over the world,” said McLean of the 25-bed space, which opened in 1975 and attracts guests from Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and the United States.
“Now that we have more capacity, we will be promoting (the hostel) more.”
McLean predicted the hostel will bring an additional $1.4 million into the community during its first few years of operations.
When Hostelling International takes over the building in 2010, the municipality plans to turn the Alta Lake spot into parkland.