What’s in a name? 

Developer looks to the public for help naming athletes’ village

Whistler’s newest neighbourhood needs a name, and the people in charge of the project are asking for the public’s help.

Whistler 2020 Development Corporation officials want Whistler residents to submit name suggestions for the athletes’ village, which is currently being built next to the old landfill site, across Highway 99 from Function Junction.

WDC says because the residential neighbourhood is being designed to meet the specific needs of Whistler residents, it only makes sense that they help select a moniker.

“The whole purpose of the exercise is really to let the community name the neighbourhood, because that’s the ultimate goal of this community, is that its for the Olympics in its short-term use, but ultimately its for the community,” explained Betsy Linnell of Origin Design and Communications, representing WDC.

“So the Whistler Development Corp board didn’t want to make that decision without community input.”

Linnell says so far, they have received about 15 suggestions, some serious and some not, but hopes more will be submitted by the Jan. 10 deadline.

Everyone who makes a submission will be entered into a draw to win a family pass to Meadow Park Sports Centre.

Names have to meet IOC and VANOC name restrictions for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, which means the village name can’t contain any direct reference to the Games.

“It’s tough, because clearly the Olympics are the origin, and you don’t want to discount that, but we’re thinking we can recognize the Olympic nature of it and the legacy nature of it within the neighbourhood itself without the name.”

Once all of the submissions are collected, a shortlist will be compiled and posted on WDC’s website by Jan. 17, and people will then have a chance to pick their favorite name.

But it is the WDC board and Whistler council that will make the final decision.

“It’s not a contest in the way that the name with the most votes wins. Because of the nature of the neighbourhood, the board and council will ultimately make the decision, but we wanted the input,” said Linnell.

Suggestions can be made at WDC’s website www.whistlerdevelopmentcorp.ca/name.html until Jan. 10.

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