Four economic leaders review roles, 

If Whistler, the resort, were one big company, how would it do business?

By Alison Taylor

That’s the question the four key economic agencies in Whistler aimed to find out.

Last year Whistler-Blackcomb, Tourism Whistler, the Resort Municipality of Whistler and the Chamber of Commerce began the Economic Agencies Initiative.

They were charged with reviewing their roles, ensuring the maximum competitive advantage for Whistler and exploring opportunities to enhance that competitive position.

On Monday, John Rae, the municipality’s manager of strategic alliances and marketing, presented the group’s findings to date to council.

Of the 18 opportunities identified by the group, seven have become priorities, he said, the so-called low-hanging fruit that can be addressed sooner rather than later.

They are:

• integrated research;

• coordinated marketing;

• whistler.com;

• coordindated sponsorship;

• coordinated resort pride and service strategy;

• coordinated relationship with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic Games, and

• regional economic development partnership, including First Nations.

Some of these priorities have already been addressed explained Rae.

For example, last year Whistler-Blackcomb and Tourism Whistler combined marketing efforts and launched Whistler. Always Real.

Tourism Whistler and the RMOW also bought whistler.com from a private company.

More recently they have updated their priorities to include recruitment as an emerging issue. The chamber has taken a lead role in the recruitment strategy and plan.

The Economic Agencies Initiative is continuing said Rae.

“We haven’t contemplated an end date,” he said.

In response to Councillor Ralph Forsyth’s question as to why they are doing the review, Rae explained they are trying to find efficiencies, and be as effective as possible while maximizing their partnerships and their investments in the marketplace.

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