Pay parking impacting businesses, say owner 

Some Whistler Village businesses are experiencing dramatic loss in sales relating to pay parking in day lots 1, 2 and 3


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She said, "It's really pushed people to take other means of transportation because they're not interested in paying for parking."

She said the shift toward a resort town that doesn't depend on cars is a good thing in the bigger picture, but in the off-season she noted that the day lots are still very empty. She says there is something wrong with that.

"If that's where Whistler's headed then we want to support it, but sometimes these plans could be a little bit more thought out beforehand," she said.

Michael Brisbois, general manager of the Keg and Brandy's Bar, said the impact has not been felt by their customer base but by his staff.

"The one impact is that some of my staff have said that parking in Lot 4 is a safety issue. It's not lit up as it is in lots 1, 2 and 3," he said.

"I don't think it's the best move by the municipality but we have to live with their decisions. So if it generates more money and it goes into good projects and stuff that benefits all of us, great. But it's really impacting our staff," he said.

Businesses outside of the Village don't appear to have experienced any increase in business, at lunchtime or otherwise, but Les Ecker, general manger of Southside Diner in Creekside said that he thinks businesses will profit from day trippers and tourists avoiding the village base areas because of pay parking, and using Creekside base instead.

The municipality does not plan on eliminating pay parking, but has offered some new programs to make pay parking easier for customers. A by pay-by-cell option will be available on Nov. 25 that will allow people pay for parking in the day lots using their cell phones. In addition, guests will receive a text message reminder before parking time expires, and will have the option of phoning in to extend parking time from anywhere.

The RMOW also sells in-car smart meters for $50 that can be used in municipal lots and on Main Street, which charges drivers by the minute instead of by the hour.

Winter parking rates will also come into effect on Nov. 25 at $8 per day.



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