wra fee hike 

A two per cent Whistler Resort Association fee increase will likely be proposed as part of the WRA’s 1999 business plan. A courtesy notice circulated by the WRA reminds members who may be finalizing their 1999 budgets, to "incorporate this into your plans." The WRA board of directors is scheduled to meet at the end of November to review and discuss the fee increase. "The board of directors has considered the increase, but at this time the fee notice is to be reviewed in context," said Suzanne Denbak, president of the WRA. "The increase is to further enhance our marketing and sales efforts." A formal notice of the new fee will be distributed upon completion of next year’s plan. The WRA’s budget has grown in recent years through an increase in members. However as Whistler nears buildout WRA membership is starting to top out. Resort association assessment fees were boosted 8 per cent in 1997. Former WRA President David Thomson defended the increase at that time by pointing out that the WRA’s marketing budget was $5.1 million compared to Vail’s $21 million. The WRA attempts to stretch its marketing dollars through co-op marketing programs with air carriers, tour operators and other tourism marketing boards such as Tourism Vancouver. The resort association also put the municipality on notice last year that it sees more — if not all — of the 2 per cent hotel tax as future revenue. Currently the WRA receives only a portion of the hotel tax, with the rest going to the municipality.

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