Letters to the Editor 

New investors, bears and berries, Creekside bubbles

Invest in your community

To the new investors and stakeholders of this wonderful mountain town:

I thank you for your investment and support of our resort lifestyle. As you probably know, Intrawest got its start here and created a multi-billion dollar empire based on the success of this town. The success was highly attributed to the mountains and their operations, but the resort would never have attained No. 1 status if it were not for the pooled efforts of the population and their ability to collectively create a great resort experience.

Now that you have controlling interest of our ever-growing mountain town, I ask that you keep in mind that this is an industrial town – much like our brother and sister towns across B.C. that are rooted in mining or logging, our industry is tourism and you are the primary corporation that we rely on for economic stability. As such you have a great responsibility to the other businesses in that you must set the example of how we choose to do business and further carve our niche on the worldwide tourism stage. When you do well, we all do well. When you struggle, the rest of us struggle too.

I used to work for the mountains, so I believe I have a frame of reference when I say that Intrawest lost their focus. Quantity usurped quality in many instances. Guests did not mind because of our stunning natural assets and the worldwide hype. But over the past five years we have seen a steady decline in the number of visitors. Some attribute that to terrorism and a rising Canadian dollar. But the reality is that the resort has declined in value. Prices continued to rise and people went elsewhere, saying that they weren't getting enough bang for their buck.

So I ask you, as new investors, to re-invest in quality. Doing that will do more for your long-term investment than shuttling the masses in and out. Don't be afraid to pay your employees what they deserve so that they stay longer than a season and in turn invest their lives here. Don't just focus on the fickle destination market but help create a sustainable year-round resort that locals and regional visitors will enjoy – repeat business and lifelong customers will be a greater guarantee than trying to "brand" yourself to tourists trying to decide between here and every other destination out there. And last but not least, please keep in mind that to make your investment valuable, you need to create a product of value – invest in your community and we will make this place so valuable that the resort will be at capacity year round.

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