Businesses scramble to keep skiers happy 

Despite warm, wet weather there’s still lots of time for winter to return

Ten days of warm weather and at times torrential rain have definitely put a damper on resort business.

Some travellers are cancelling their vacations, snow-based activities are stalled, and only the bravest of souls have been heading up the mountain.

"We are getting maybe (three cancellations) a day," said Tim Morrison, general manager at the Pan Pacific. "A lot of people are inquiring about it. Others are just trying to see if (the rain) will be over by the end of the week before they decide what to do.

"We are just trying to have a brave face and be very positive with the individuals who are here."

Service providers resort-wide have been pooling their creative juices to come up with ways to keep guests happy and entertained while everyone waits for the weather to turn.

The Pan Pacific has been telling guests about off-mountain activities to keep them busy and they relaxed their cancellation policy during the rainy period so that people could re-book vacation time up until the end of April.

"It is important to do this," said Morrison, "because Whistler is a fantastic spot… and we just want to make sure we are not leaving a bad taste in our guests’ mouths. We have a wonderful and fantastic resort and we want them to understand that we care about them and we want them to understand that we can be flexible."

Over at the Four Seasons Resort guests were being called ahead of their arrival date so they could choose whether or not to re-book their vacation time later in the season.

"Quite a few people are choosing to move their dates," said spokeswoman Laurie Copper.

Others are coming anyway and enjoying the spa, which has been very busy in the last week, and other resort activities said Cooper.

Tourism Whistler opened up the Telus Conference Centre last week to tourists and showed free movies, offered dream-catcher workshops and allowed everyone to warm up by the enormous fireplace with hot chocolate.

"One thing we can say is that even though it is not ideal conditions at least we do have a lot of the things going on in Whistler," said TW spokeswoman Michele Comeau. "None of these are new things necessarily, but people are trying out things they probably would not have done."

That includes putting on rain gear and heading to the Zip Trek for a canopy walk or a aerial view of the valley, taking day trips to Vancouver and Squamish, or trying your hand at in-door rock climbing.

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