Letters to the editor 

Page 5 of 8

I would like to know why there is such a need to rush forward through this critical decision making process. If it is to satisfy a deadline related to locating the Olympic athletes village, then that should be decided on its own. We don’t need to connect lifting the bed cap and adding 7,100 bed units to deciding where an athletes village should go. Especially when we don’t even know what Whistler will look and feel like when we reach 55,500 BUs.

Amending the bed cap at this stage of Whistler’s development is a decision that should only be decided by referendum. Not by a process such as the one underway, where at the end of the day, the council makes the decision. A majority vote by referendum of 75 per cent of all registered voters should be necessary to approve lifting the bed cap. Only then should we be deciding where we are going to put the development and in what form it should take.

There are still 7,000 bed units to be built before we actually reach 55,500, or a 15 per cent increase over the current count. This includes 4,400+ hotel units, 2,000+ market units and 500+ employee units. All 7,000 units are already allocated to properties with development underway or being proposed, except for approx. 500 floaters.

If you add another 7,000 bed units to this, as is proposed in four of the five options, we are opening the door to an overall increase of 30 per cent over the number of beds existing in Whistler today. I cannot imagine how this will lead to an experience desirable by either visitors or residents, especially when we are already seeing lengthy periods of excessive congestion during both summer and winter seasons.

I must again re-iterate that the CSP process seems flawed in many ways. Some of the information contained in the detail package is questionable. There is no statement of how accurate figures may be +/- and assumptions are not provided.

Just how accurate is the estimate of resident "leakage" and required employee numbers at build-out and how exactly were they calculated? I also question the calculation of 48 per cent of staff residing in Whistler if no further development is allowed. It is noted that the majority of the predicted growth is somehow only going to occur in the shoulder seasons. If this were the case, there would not be any need for any additional beds, there would only be higher occupancy rates within the existing units over the entire year.

Has any consideration been given to the fact that many rental units will become available when a large number of construction workers move on once the remaining 7,000 bed units have been built out? Building another 7,000 employee beds will only delay those rental units becoming vacant. What is this number?

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