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Olympic rings act as beacon for partiers

Work underway at Plaza on performance pavilion

The beckoning nighttime glow from Whistler's Olympic rings is playing havoc with some village guests trying to get a good night sleep.

Renee Christenson, who has a timeshare in the Tyndall Stone Lodge on the Village Stroll, was woken up four nights in a row during her week-long vacation, which took in the Presidents' Day weekend from Feb. 18-21.

The ruckus generally came at 1:30 a.m., just as the local bars were letting out.

"It's cool," she said of having a piece of Olympic history in the village. "It's just, at two in the morning, it's not so cool."

Christenson said she have never been woken up before in the 12 years she has been coming to Whistler and she comes for the same week every year.

She has a simple solution: turn the Olympic lights off at midnight.

Dave Patterson, the municipality's manager of village park operations, said the LED lights run on a photo cell and so turn on at dusk and turn off at dawn. It would be possible to manage the lights on a timer, he said.

Christenson has penned her request to council in a letter. Council will consider that letter, among others, at today's meeting.

Meanwhile, the municipality is forging ahead with work at $13.67 million Whistler Olympic Plaza this month.

Installation has begun on the large steel frame for the performance pavilion. Once complete, the pavilion will be a covered gathering spot with seating for 600 and standing room for 1,000. It has a flexible configuration and can host a variety of events from dinners to fashion shows to live theatre.

Three auxiliary buildings will be part of the overall pavilion with washrooms, change rooms for performers and a mechanical room.

Local company Peak Ventures will be on site once the steel work is complete,

Off site work is also underway for the athlete recognition railing, which will go close to the Olympic rings, and the memorial for Georgian luger Nodar Kumritashvili.

The next phase of the playground is also near completion but will not be unveiled until the weather gets better and the groundwork can be finished.

The plaza is set to be complete by the summer.