Letters to the Editor 

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Page 2 of 11

The draft goes on to say in paragraph 5.1.2, "This policy would further direct the Municipality to consider, where deemed appropriate and feasible, unique models or approaches to service delivery that are to resolve internal operations for existing properties."

The next paragraph, 5.1.3, goes on to describe how the proposed visitor Amenity Hub (that the municipality is currently doing a $200,000 feasibility study on, and that already has $7 million slated for its construction in the hotel tax funds budget), will be able to provide all those services to property owners and managers who don't offer it themselves.

Further to that, the Municipality is also proposing a new services' standard bylaw that states, in part, "The RMOW is seeking a legislative amendment to the Resort Municipality of Whistler Act [RSBC, 1996] that would empower them to enact a new, stricter Business Regulation Bylaw, as one measure to address the issue at hand.

"The RMOW requires the ability to impose additional regulations, restrictions and prohibitions on the alternative types of accommodations. This will enable the RMOW to control overall quality and customer service levels, health and safety standards, and provide a more uniform, predictable, and seamless experience for visitors and more revenue to the RMOW, local businesses, and the province."

Although it's not said overtly, it's not hard to figure out that the plan is to force Phase I properties to offer full service hotel amenities, and then offer those services through the Amenity Hub if they're not in a position to provide it themselves.  No wonder the property owners are going berserk.

Forcing Phase 1 properties to offer full service hotel service is not going to accomplish much except dilute the market for the village hotels.

If someone wants that level of service, they can simply stay at the Fairmont, Four Seasons, Hilton, or any other number of excellent village hotels.

What this will do is dry up the supply of lower cost accommodations.  Soaring property taxes and Tourism Whistler fees are already making the margins on these units desperately thin.

Forcing them to offer full-service amenities will just drive them off the market completely, and with them will go our supply of budget-priced accommodation when it's most desperately needed.

 

David Buzzard

Whistler

 

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