TW looks for more municipal money 

Tourism Whistler is looking for more money from the municipality to help market the upcoming winter season.

With $250,000 already pledged by the RMOW, Tourism Whistler President Barrett Fisher was before council Monday night looking to double the commitment. Council is considering the request.

Her request for the money came on the heels of a presentation about the challenging economic times facing Whistler.

Room nights are down 19 per cent over the last four years. Meanwhile the amount of available rooms has increased three per cent.

And the upcoming winter doesn’t look promising, at four per cent behind the pace of last year.

"These are tough economic times for Whistler," said Fisher this week. "We, collectively as Whistler partners, want to focus our efforts on where there’s the greatest need and where there can be the highest return."

The money will be funneled into key markets such as Washington state, California and Ontario, primarily through newspaper ads and TV spots. The marketing is designed to get people here this winter.

Fisher said there has been understanding and support from the municipality about the economic challenges and the need for the two organizations to work closer together.

"(There has been a recognition) that there might be higher needs in the short term for existing municipal dollars," she said.

Council did not approve the additional funding request at Monday’s meeting because they did not have any information about where that money would come from in the municipal budget.

The first $250,000 grant came from the Hotel Tax Reserve.

Tourism Whistler is willing to look at matching RMOW funds up to $500,000.

The board of Tourism Whistler and council will meet on Monday, Oct. 31 for the third in a series of meetings designed to strengthen the ties between the two organizations.

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