Category Archives: Whistler’s Answers

Whistler’s Answers: May 20, 1982

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.

Question: Would you mind paying a four percent resort tax on everything you buy here to help pay for public facilities?

Ron McCready – Manager of Nasty Jack’s – Alta Vista

Yes. The locals are just simply overtaxed. In order to keep the type of people we need to make this valley work – waiters, waitresses, people to service the businesses – we need to grant them some sort of concessions.

Even if they make a good wage, they find it difficult to live here.

It’s time something was returned to the residents.

Sonya McCarthy – Deli Clerk – Emerald Estates

No, I wouldn’t mind paying it as long as the revenue collected is kept in the Whistler area.

I also think Council would have to make a very close accounting as to where the money is spent.

The money could be used in many ways, but I think one of the most important uses would be to get the Sports & Convention Centre finished and start a public transportation system.

Isabel Niederlich – Drugstore Clerk – Alta Vista

I’d be both for and against it. On one hand I’d like to see the rec centre finished and other recreational projects in this town.

But then things are so expensive here already, I think it might be too much to add another four percent. Ultimately, though, I think it would be worth it.

Kari Surridge – Housewife – Vancouver

No. But since it’s public revenue, I would want to make sure it goes to public needs.

I don’t think people who live here should have to pay it, though. They should be issued some sort of identity card so merchants wouldn’t charge them the extra tax.

Harry McKeever – Vending Machine Operator – Alpine Meadows

Absolutely. Basically we are overtaxed and overpriced already.

We already pay far more for everything here than anywhere else in the province.

Dale Steel – Sales rep for David L. Jones – North Vancouver

No, I wouldn’t mind it at all, providing I knew it was going towards the betterment of the community – the arts, public transportation.

This place is beautiful and should be kept looking like this. It will soon look like a slum if they don’t collect some sort of revenue and use it to keep things up.

Whistler’s Answers: May 13, 1982

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/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: Summers in the early 1980s were not exactly busy – some businesses even closed for the season – though there were some efforts to draw visitors to the area. Summer ski camps and sports such as windsurfing and hiking were popular but Whistler was still best known as a winter destination.

Question: With Whistler winding down for the summer, what are your plans?

Kathy Hicks – Municipal Accounting Supervisor – Alpine Meadows

It seems that this summer is going to have to be a very recreational one.

Hopefully it will be a time when locals can really get to know each other before the winter season returns.

Mary Swaine – Laid-off traffic attendant – Alpine Meadows

I’m going to be artist-in-residence at a ranch in Washington because I need some culture in my life.

Laurie Vance – Assistant Manager at Blackcomb Lodge – Alpine Meadows

To get my flowers to come up. They’re being fooled by all the snow.

Penny Domries – Artist – Alpine Meadows

Hit the beach and learn to windsurf. And I hope to get some artwork done – interior banners and silkscreened prints.

We’re also going to be some of those people who’ll be leaving for a while – we’re planning a three-week trip to Alaska.

Bruce DeGraaf – Unemployed Blackcomb Ski Patroller – Telemark

I’m planning on doing a little government work… cashing checks for a living. I’m quite concerned about the current economic slump and I’m going to contemplate it down at Alta Lake.

I think we could organize a three-ring circus at the Rec centre for the tourists. There’s a lot of clowns up here, including myself, who could use the work.

Cris Simpson – Full-time kid – Alta Vista

I’ve been making model rockets and I plan to take them down to San Francisco this summer and visit my dad and shoot them off.

And at the science fair I’m going to show other kids how to make rockets.

But mainly I’m going to go swimming and windsurfing.

Whistler’s Answers: May 6, 1982

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.

Question: If your boss told you that you had to take a 2.5% pay cut because of economic conditions, how would you react?

Sigrid Moore – Bartender at Creperie Chez Moi – Alpine Meadows

I don’t think there would be too much I could do right now. There aren’t too many jobs available and if you have one you have to hang on to it. It’s not a matter of pride where you could just stick your nose in the air, say ‘forget it’ and walk out.

Jean-Luc Perron – L’Apres busboy – Alta Vista

At the salary I’m making right now, I think it would be unfair to take away any percentage. As it is now, I’m only making enough to get by on.

Astrid Douglas – Front desk clerk at Mountainside Lodge – White Gold Estates

It all depends on the situation. For me working here, I couldn’t afford it, especially living in Whistler where increases in salaries are never even as high as inflation.

It depends on what you’re working at too.

Rob Phillips – Longhorn manager – Whistler Cay

If it was essential for me to stay at Whistler, then I would gladly accept a cut in pay.

But if the money was important, my background in the restaurant business allows me sufficient latitude to maintain my current level of income elsewhere.

Jim Kitteringham – Vehicle Maintenance Foreman for Whistler Mountain Ski Corp. – Emerald Estates

If my employer asked me to take a wage cut, there’s no way I could support myself financially, especially considering the high cost of living at Whistler.

In other words – no way!

Ken Domries – Husky mechanic – Alpine Meadows

I think what I’d do is send my boss to my landlord and the power company to see if they would take a 2.5% decrease. Sure, I’d take a cut – if everyone else did.

Whistler’s Answers: April 29, 1982

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. Construction of the Resort Centre (known today as the Conference Centre) began in March 1980 and was still ongoing in 1982. The original plans included an Olympic-sized ice rink, swimming pool, whirlpool, saunas, racquetball courts, squash court, restaurant and more. The proposed budget (not including operating costs) was in the $5.5 to 5.8 million range. In January 1983 the provincial government formed Whistler Land Co. Developments, a Crown corporation chaired by Chester Johnson to take over the liabilities and assets of the Whistler Village Land Company. Under Johnson the Resort Centre was reconstructed as a conference centre without the extra recreational facilities and construction was completed by 1986. You can find more information about the Resort Centre here.

Question: Would you be adverse to having any portion of your property taxes go towards finishing the Resort Centre?

Jim Crichton – Carpenter – Alpine Meadows

Yes. The original plan for the convention centre stipulated that the taxpayer was not to pay for it. Think it will be years before that thing is finished and I don’t want to be subsidizing it.

They should get a private developer to take it over and run it.

Barry Johnston – Social Psychologist – Alpine Meadows

I think everyone would say it depends on how much extra we have to pay in taxes.

If they did use our tax money, the Land Company would have to make a much closer accounting to property owners on how the money was spent.

David Kirk – Whistler Village Sports/Whistler Creek Ski Shop – Alta Vista

I would like to see a referendum held in order that some direction – whether it be positive or negative – be given the Land Company and municipality on this issue.

Charlie Doyle – Commercial Artist – MDC

I would be against having any portion of my property taxes going for that purpose.

It was a mistake on the part of the Land Company in estimating costs. Why should we bail them out? They certainly don’t bail out my mistakes.

The centre means something to them only as developers. If they were really interested in the community, they wouldn’t have made it such an epic of a building.

If we were given some benefit, maybe we should consider it. But we’ll end up paying both as taxpayers and as customers once the centre’s finished.

Mark Sadler – Contractor/Developer – Multiple commercial & residential property owner

That’s a difficult question to answer. My basic answer is yes, I would be against having any portion of my residential taxes used to finance the sports centre.

I would like to see the major users – namely commercial establishments which benefit the most – pay towards the completion of it, and that statement comes from me as a property owner in the Town Centre.

Why should we taxpayers be responsible for problems incurred by poor management, inflation and other factors?

Drew Meredith – Real Estate Agent – Alta Vista

No, not at all. I’ve been waiting a long time to see that building finished and I’d be willing to put out out of my own pocket for it.

The addition of a full ice area and squash and racquet-ball courts will be a definite asset to the community. It’s not going to be any cheaper in the future.

I wouldn’t be against having my taxes go towards it, providing the Land Company repays the municipality in the future when the real estate market perks up again.