Alta states 

Peter Ladner: Sometimes nice guys do finish first

click to enlarge Peter Ladner
  • Peter Ladner

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But it’s not a connection you should ever take for granted, says Ladner. “One of my key platforms issues — one of the things I really want to focus on in this election — is that I believe Vancouver can become one of the most globally competitive cities in the world.” And leveraging the community’s relationship to Whistler, he argues, is a major component of that strategy. Why? Because, he says, the “Whistler Experience” is right at the top of the perks list when recruiting talented young workers to the city. “Some of us may take it for granted,” he says. “But having world-class mountain resort in your own backyard is a huge asset. And we shouldn’t be shy to promote that connection.”

From a business point-of-view, Ladner also believes Whistler offers an ideal environment for exploring new perspectives. “It’s so close to Vancouver yet so distinctly different — climate geography, atmosphere — that people can get really inspired to address issues in different ways here. I think Whistler could carve out a very interesting niche for itself as a centre for corporate retreats.” In fact, he says, from his experience “it’s an asset that the Vancouver business community has yet to fully exploit.”

On that same subject, it’s also important, adds Ladner, to let Whistler be the resort community it was designed to be while Vancouver focuses on being the region’s economic engine. “I don’t think it’s in anybody’s best interest for Vancouver to become a ‘resort city’,” he says. But that doesn’t mean that Vancouver councillors can’t learn from their Whistler counterparts. “As an early convert to The Natural Step,” he says, “I was quite inspired by the work done by Whistlerites on that front.” Another smile. “And as far as affordable housing goes, they’re still leaders in the field…”

When all is said and done however, it still comes down to “days on the mountain” for Ladner. And like the dyed-in-the-wool Snoweater that he is, he never gets quite enough. “Unfortunately,” he says. “I didn’t spend as much time skiing as I wanted to last year. But this next winter, my first priority is to get out on the mountain, ski into the back bowls and soak up the scene as much as I can. Know what I mean?”

Indeed I do…

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