In the 1980s the Whistler Question began posing a question to three to six people and publishing their responses under “Whistler’s Answers” (not to be confused with the Whistler Answer). Each week, we’ll be sharing one question and the answers given back in 1982. Please note, all names/occupations/neighbourhoods represent information given to the Question at the time of publishing and do not necessarily reflect the person today.
Some context for this week’s question: A major recession hit North America in late 1981, with interest rates reaching up to 20%. While some buildings in the Whistler Village were completed, much of the first phase was still under construction. Work on some properties stalled but other businesses, such as the Delta Mountain Inn, moved forward with their plans to open. At the time the Whistler Village Land Corporation (WVLC) was left with debts of almost $8 million, liabilities around $30 million, and land assets that nobody would buy. In 1983 the provincial government stepped in and formed Whistler Land Co. Developments, a Crown corporation, to take over the liabilities and assets of the WVLC, but in early 1982 Whistler’s economic future was still unsure.
Question: How has the current economic situation affected you?
Pat Kelly – Real Estate Agent – Whistler Cay
It would be safe to say that given the current real estate market, my income has been quite affected.
The real estate market, which my income is tied to is inactive right now. My guess is that the volume is at least half of what it was last year.
But I’m going to hang in there. I can see certain potential here that others may not be able to.
Diane Robb – Waitress – Gondola Area
Actually, it hasn’t really affected me. But then it’s hard to tell as I haven’t worked all winter because I’ve been travelling.
At the restaurant, people are still tipping at least 15 per-cent. And with the turn out there is for skiing, you know people must have money.
Things can’t be too rough – Whistler had a record day Friday.
Denver Snider – Mons Towing – Emerald Estates
Well, it hasn’t affected me yet. I feel the economic conditions in this valley will depend not on the ability to work, but on the willingness to go out and work.
It’s true. I just bought another dump truck.
Don Willoughby – Businessman – Alpine Meadows
Well, the price of golf balls has gone up.
“Fast” Eddy – Union Construction Worker – Alta Vista
It hasn’t affected me at all because I wasn’t one of the morons who balked at the business agent from the union hall who came up here to give us jobs.
Now I’m still working, but I know of a lot of other contractors who are sucking wind.
Susan Nielsen – Bookkeeper – Whistler Cay
I haven’t felt any negative effects of the economic situation because there is a good demand for my type of work in Whistler.
However, if I had to move to Vancouver and find a job there things would probably be much different.