November 11, 2005 Features & Images » Feature Story

Nick Davies, candidate for mayor. 

We need to improve our competitive position

Name: Nick Davies

Age: 53


Occupation: Lawyer

Last book read: The 2014 Report, a book that was written in the mid-80s as a novel but projecting how the world might progress between the mid-80s and 2014 in terms of economic issues, scientific issues, technological issues. I re-read it every three or four years.

What music are you listening to these days? I’ve always liked Neil Young, Lou Reed, Pink Floyd, U2… they’re kind of my favourite musicians, but a band I’ve been listening to lately is Gotan Project.

Favourite recreational pursuits: Skiing and flying.

1. Why are you running for mayor?

I’ve done two terms on council and I feel I’m at the point where intellectually I’ve done as much as I can on council. So I suppose I’m at the point where I feel I have to move on to the next level, or get on to something else in my life.

2/3. What are the biggest issues facing Whistler? What needs to be done to address those issues?

The most vexing issue that we have at the moment is the economy. I don’t by any means suggest that we should abandon all other values except the economic value, but I believe we have focused too much on the social and environmental issues, and we lost our focus on the economic issues. We’re not as competitive in the marketplace as we should be and I think that there are things that we can do to improve our competitive position.

I think we have to recognize that we are a resort community, and the community itself is part of the industry of our town. This village is part of the industry of this town. And we are responsible for many aspects of this village that contribute to our competitiveness.

There’s going to be sort of a joint venture between the municipality, Tourism Whistler and the chamber to put (a tourism development) office in place. So I ask what is that office’s role going to be, and my understanding is 75 per cent management consulting-type stuff and only 25 per cent driving tourism. And if you reduce the problem that we’ve got to its absolute fundamental level, it’s that people in other parts of the world that make the buying decisions… are not making the buying decision to come to Whistler.

Tourism Whistler and Intrawest both keep consistently telling us that the number one problem we’ve got is air access…. We’ve got to improve the air access situation.

Another large issue is the cost of housing. In my view it goes back to the economy. We’ve got housing projects in the pipeline that are pretty close to going into the ground…. but we have to be careful to manage how much housing we build. The Whistler 2020 document calls for 75 per cent of our employees to be housed in Whistler. At the moment 75 per cent of our employees are housed in Whistler. (But) the reason 75 per cent are housed at the moment is our economy has retracted….

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