one whistler 

It’s made up of some of the most influential people in town, but part of its strength is that it has no authority itself. "It" is One Whistler, the group made up of representatives from Whistler-Blackcomb, Tourism Whistler, the chamber of commerce, the municipality, Powder Properties and the Commercial Core Committee. Formed just about a year ago, One Whistler is a sort of resort Polyfilla — designed to fill in the cracks between the members’ individual responsibilities. "One group may not be able to solve an issue on its own, but together we can come up with a solution," says Barrett Fisher, one of Tourism Whistler’s representatives on One Whistler. "One Whistler’s goal was to identify areas that need improvement. Serving customers better, continuing to improve the guest experience — issues such as cleanliness and signage," says Dave Davenport, the Commercial Core Committee representative. "We bring consistency overall to the village and the guest’s experience," adds Whistler Mayor Hugh O’Reilly. Enhancing communication among the various groups within the resort is one of the primary functions of One Whistler. Through discussions among the One Whistler members the group has, over the course of its first year, identified and taken action on 38 issues, ranging from over booking at hotels to staff training. One Whistler has also hired a co-ordinator for the millennium, a position which includes checking systems for Y2K compliance but also compiling an inventory of available capacity at restaurants, clubs and hotels for the New Year’s Eve period. "People are starting to share information; that wasn’t always done in the past," says Dale Pruden, Powder Properties’ One Whistler representative. Ron Hosner, the chamber of commerce representative, says: "Trust has been key from the start. I’ve learned more about other people’s issues in the first few months with this group than in my first 15 years in Whistler." And Hosner says One Whistler is looking out for the community, as well as the resort. "We’ve never lost sight of the community out there, beyond the guest. We’ve thought about inviting a community representative (to sit on the board), but we are the community," says Hosner. Municipal administrator Jim Godfrey describes One Whistler as having more of a facilitating or nurturing role than leading political debate, but the group is stepping into new territory with its commissioning of an economic study of the proposed Stoltmann National Park. "It’s an interesting question, should One Whistler take a public position on something like the Stoltmann," Godfrey says. "We’ve taken a stand-back approach, but we’d like additional information." The information from the study will be made public, but the One Whistler group may leave it up to individuals to make their own decisions, rather than take a public position on the controversial area.

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