‘Typical’ Whistlerite decides to run for mayor 

Filling hotel rooms tops list of issues facing Whistler, according to Mike Brew

Mike Brew thinks of himself as the man on the street.

He works two jobs to pay for things like new skis and vacations, he volunteers at local mountain bike events and with RCMP victim services, he’s worked his way into a paid position with the Whistler Film Festival, holds down a full-time job, and now he even manages a local band.

"People want someone who can relate to them and they can relate to and will always act and vote in their best interest," said Brew, 33, the Intranet designing content coordinator for Whistler-Blackcomb.

"I have worked seven years to get to the place I am now, and I want to help people like me. Living in Whistler takes sacrifice and anyone willing to put in their time deserves a shot at owning a home, or starting a business, or raising a family in Whistler."

He admits he has no political experience but his job experience in communications lends him a wealth of knowledge.

"My job (at Whistler-Blackcomb) is communications," said Brew. "I am a good listener and I am respectful of other people’s views. I’m patient but I like to get things done and empower other people to get things done.

"I am not deluded into thinking I have all the solutions to Whistler’s problems but I know there are solutions. We have brilliant experienced minds in the community and at municipal hall and I think my contribution as mayor would be to recognize the need for better dialogue, for thinking more creatively, and for ensuring that the process through which we reach our decisions is balanced.

"I want solutions that everyone can live and work with."

Top of the list of issues for Brew is reaching a higher occupancy in the hotels. While impressed with the resort’s drive last year in the face of a serious challenge – bad weather – to keep customers happy and locals employed he believes more needs to be done to drive the economy.

Part of that may be exploring creative ideas such as outdoor skating rinks, the development of Lots 1 and 9 and more aggressive marketing plans.

"Our customers found value (last year) and I think we need to keep those same people coming," said Brew.

"I think we need to put absolutely everything on the table. Maybe we do need an outdoor rink, maybe we really need a Paralympic arena on Lot 1/9, maybe we need the Alpenrock space for recreation. Let’s put these things on the table and let the community decide.

"We need to ask what is going to continue to offer value to our guests? What are they looking to do outside apart from just the skiing and boarding? What is going to bring them here the next time it rains?"

Brew believes the Olympics offer a great chance to showcase the resort and every opportunity should be pursued as the event gets closer and Whistler moves beyond it too.

"It is a great opportunity for us to showcase to the world who we are and what we are about and show people that this is the place to be and for or against it, its coming and we are going to have to make the absolute best of it," he said.

Part of that will be providing the best service the resort can, and that means looking after staff.

Brew, a renter who hopes to own his own home one day, would like to see more staff housing brought to fruition so that staffing levels can go up.

However, Brew believes Whistler should concentrate on filling the hotel rooms first before it gets caught up in any more mega-deals, even if they come with staff housing attached.

For more information on Brew’s platform, you can visit www.brew4mayor.com . You can also contact him at info@brew4mayor.com.

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