Letter to the editor 

Re: Paying the price, Pique Nov. 9

Life in a resort town... Action needed!

We all know that life in paradise isn’t cheap, but is that enough? Does that really justify what’s going on? Sure enough, this is the time of year when it hits most and you realize those prices are going up more than usual – especially when it comes to rent and you are looking for a place to stay. I am right there myself.

Others face tremendously rising rent as their lease runs out and the new one is a lot more. Prices are up in Whistler. No question, it is a resort town, like others, and we may be just average compared to others. Still, here is somebody talking about "affordable living," the awareness of diversity and soul of Whistler – that’s worth protecting… But where is the action? Where do these nice words come true? In housing for employees that’s restricted and capped, but still goes for $500,000? Some efforts may have helped and worked but the overall picture just gets worse.

Where do these prices come from? Are you seriously asking that question? How about: Selling the town to more and more rich and wealthy people from all over the world. We all seem to not only work for but depend more and more on these people. They come and tell their friends and just show up and drop the big bucks. No one here can keep up with it. The US dollar just buys more.

Not that I am against foreigners, being one myself, but if you do want to do something and keep Whistler with a certain flair and atmosphere, stop fake Disneyworld!

Do not only talk; DO it!

Where do all these taxes go, for example, that come out of these mega-homes? Why not make it mandatory to ensure locals’ living accommodation as you build more tourism housing?

One other, perhaps even bigger concern, is the individuals keeping up with what’s happening. Many don’t have a choice and have to live with whatever the store or landlord wants. It is up to everyone here to keep life as liveable as possible. Don’t you get caught in that trap of squeezing all the others! We have enough companies and people doing that already. If we in Whistler start doing the same, that’s when we lose that soul, if it does exist at all.

People coming into town for a season do not care except about some months having fun here. That don’t really help! The last comment in the article, "it will be worth it," that’s what keeps the prices up. People who come in and don’t care where they stay, what they have to live with, how much things cost – they bring the prices up even more! They go back after a wicked season and leave us with the prices and attitudes they leave behind.

As long as landlords and businesses can find somebody, why should they change?

Why is it, for example, that nobody gives deals anymore? Make the distinction between us and them! Let us in our bars and let us be part of what we want to be. That’s where you can lose the soul. Don’t make it even harder and don’t frustrate us even more. We are on our way out already, as it is not affordable to live here and work for bad wages.

Heike Stippler

Whistler

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