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A winter of discontented visitors

For a while this winter I thought I was pretty popular.

Almost every weekend and throughout most weeks we had houseguests bunking down at our tiny basement apartment in Emerald.

We have to be pretty fun and exciting people, I thought, if people keep coming to share our cramped quarters with us.

As it turns out, our revolving door had nothing to do with how much fun I thought we were. It had everything to do with how much fun our resort is.

We've had relatives as old as 70, long lost high school friends and new found acquaintances just dropping by to hang out for a few days.

It's been fun - a lot of fun. It's also been enlightening.

Living in Whistler for the past 18 months, with more houseguests than I'd like to count or remember, I've since learned a thing or two about people who come to visit.

Guests can be broken down into a few basic categories which should be considered if you're inviting them to stay or, more often than not, if they're calling you up and telling you they're coming. Think about this before extending your next invitation.

1) There are guests who ski and guests who don't.

This first category is of supreme importance. If your guests do not ski some people, like my mother, believe there is an inherent obligation to entertain them off the mountain. As such, you run the very real risk of missing some memorable powder days walking in circles around the village for the umpteenth time.

For your own sanity I recommend letting your guests entertain themselves while you play on the mountain. It may seem callous and cruel, especially if the guests are visiting Whistler for no other reason than to spend time with you. But after all, we came to Whistler to ski so ski we must. Of course, if it's raining to the Roundhouse you can hang out with them to your heart's content, knowing that you're not missing anything good above.

With these guests your options are fairly cut and dry. You run into a big grey area with guests who fall into the next category.

2) Guests who say they can ski and are telling the truth and those who say they can ski but are in fact telling you a boldface lie.

So there you all are riding up the chairlift excited to go skiing or riding with some old friends, ready to take them all over the mountain to "your" secret spots when they promptly fall into a heap as they're getting off the chairlift.

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