Telus named title sponsor of newly renovated Whistler Conference Centre 

Ten year deal worth ‘six figures’ annually

Telus has announced a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal with Tourism Whistler as part of a sponsorship agreement for the revamped conference centre, which re-opened last weekend.

It’s also likely the deal is a key component of Telus’s bid to win the sponsorship rights to the 2010 Olympic Games.

Officially little is being said about Telus’s fight to win the Games away from Bell, the incumbent Canadian Olympic Committee sponsor. But in an August article in the Vancouver Sun, Telus CEO Darren Entwistle was adamant the company would win the fight when the 2005-2015 sponsorship comes up for bidding after next summer’s Olympics in Athens.

"We’ll get the bid," he said.

Telus was a Premier Founding Supporter of the successful bid to bring the Games to Vancouver and Whistler, contributing about $3 million in cash and services.

It has also sponsored key events, such as the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival on the mountains, and is title sponsor for the Telus Whistler Sport Centre, which provides services for athletes who are either at the elite provincial level or who have made the National team in Olympic and Paralympic events.

"This is really part of Telus’s commitment to supporting the communities where we operate," said Telus spokeswoman Karen Dosanjh referring to the conference centre deal.

Now titled the Telus Conference Centre at Whistler, the facility is expected to bring $28.7 million in delegate spending to the resort in its first year of operations.

That’s $10 million more than it did in previous years.

Dosanjh said the deal made sense to the telecommunications company, the second largest in the country, as the investment fit with the profile of investing in communities which do business with the company.

"We are very proud to be the title sponsor of the newly renovated Telus Conference Centre at Whistler," she said.

"We believe the new conference centre will play a significant role in the economic development of Whistler."

The deal will last for 10 years, with a six-figure payment for each of those years.

Not only does Telus get title rights to the centre it will also be the preferred supplier of Tourism Whistler’s telecommunications needs.

This period covers the use of the conference centre during the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Vancouver and Whistler.

"The Telus Conference Centre will really be a key resource in the preparation and execution of the world event," said Dosanjh.

"What we know is that the (International Olympic Committee) has already booked the Telus Conference Centre for the duration of the Olympic Winter Games.

"We know it will also play host to visiting athletes, government representatives, sporting officials, and Olympic delegates as well, so there is definitely a connection to the Games."

Tourism Whistler interim president Barrett Fisher said the deal not only provided a cash injection it partnered the organization with a telecommunications expert.

"It does broaden into just about everything we do," she said.

"(Telus is) in the business of data, they are in the business of the Internet, they are in the business of many of the new marketing areas that we are looking to expand into. So to be working hand-in-glove with a partner such as this will not only make our Whistler conference centre a showcase telecommunications facility, but in fact, it will enable us to take our marketing to new heights."

The Telus Conference Centre at Whistler was re-opened with a gala event Sept. 27. Information about a community open house at the facility will be announced soon.

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