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 1983. Please note, all names/answers/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: In the 1980s, the provincial government opened the Powder Mountain site to bids for development. By 1983, several ski resort developers had been attracted to the area but none had gone further than talking about it. In April 1983, a company called Powder Mountain Resorts Ltd. joined with French consortium SITAC International SA to develop a master plan for the recreational reserve in the Callaghan recreational reserve area. The plan called for skiing on six mountains and seven townsites. Some people questioned the feasibility of a ski resort in the area, in part because of the challenging terrain and unpredictable weather, while others were concerned such a development would dilute the market and draw business away from Whistler.
Question: How viable do you think the Powder Mountain development will be?
Ross Moore – Village Employee – Alpha Lake Village
I think it will probably take business away from Whistler and Blackcomb just because Powder Mountain is closer to Vancouver. People really don’t seem to be loyal to an area when they’re skiing. This might be a good time for Whistler and Blackcomb to join forces instead of competing with each other for the business.
Mark Angus – Mayor of Whistler – Gondola Area
I think there are still a lot of logistics problems to be solved before we see Powder Mountain take off. Where is their commercial base? Where will their sewage go? In the long run I don’t think it will be detrimental to Whistler. The market is still growing and they’d be dealing with a different clientele. It looks a bit like a pre-election perk to me.
Hugh Smythe – President, Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises – White Gold
I don’t think it’s viable at all due to large infrastructure cost. Building and maintaining the access road and putting power and sewage treatment in place will be extremely expensive. Also the skiable area is either too steep or above the tree line which is too high.