Tag Archives: Delta Mountain Inn

Whistler’s Answers: July 22, 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: The Delta Mountain Inn (today the Hilton) opened in Whistler on July 23, 1982. It was the first “big” hotel built in the Whistler Village and opened during financially unstable times, both in the resort and nationally. Find out more about the Delta here.

Question: How do you think the opening of Delta Mountain Inn will affect Whistler?

Lance Fletcher – Co-owner of Stoney’s Fitzsimmons Building

I think it will be terrific. It will open things up for us. Initially it may hurt our business a bit, but ultimately it will be terrific.

It will provide convention facilities Whistler doesn’t have now.

Having a quality, full-service hotel is bound to attract business for the entire valley.

Keith Inkster – Manager Blackcomb Lodge – Blackcomb Lodge

It will enhance the image of the community through its professional approach to service, national marketing and skilled management.

The formal training and strict staff guidelines might well require an adjustment to the laid-back approach taken by most other hospitality industry staff at Whistler.

But all the professionalism will not make up for the friendliness and honest hospitality which is part of Whistler now.

Don Beverley – Public Servant – Alpine Meadows

It’s definitely good for Whistler and the surrounding area. While Delta is promoting their hotel, they’re promoting our area at the same time.

I can’t see how it can be a bad thing. Delta will be one more employer helping relieve unemployment lines.

Opening the Delta Mountain Inn

A while ago the museum received a donation of a scrapbook from the Fairmont Chateau detailing the construction and opening of what is still Whistler’s largest hotel.  Before the Chateau, however, another big hotel built in Whistler opened July 23, 1982: the Delta Mountain Inn.

Mountain Inn – as it’s been for two months. New construction should start soon.  Whistler Question Collection, 1980.

The planning process for the Mountain Inn began 40 years ago as Whistler Village was just beginning to take shape.  The hotel was the dream of Peter Gregory of Maple Leaf Developments Ltd., the owners and developers of the property.  Gregory’s previous experience lay mostly in the lumber and sawmill industry and the Mountain Inn was his first foray into the hotel industry.

The foundations for this $25 million project were poured in 1980, while Gregory was still selling the idea to Delta Hotels.  The brand was initially skeptical about the project because of the strata title ownership structure of most hotels in Whistler.  Delta was concerned the restricted use of the unit owners would disrupt the smooth operation of a hotel but were convinced to come on board over the course of two years.

In the spring of 1982, when the Delta Mountain Inn was nearing completion, the Whistler Question reported the project to be the “largest building ever constructed at Whistler.”  The building included retail space, five conference rooms, ski storage, tennis courts, two whirlpools, an exercise room, an outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant named Twigs, an “entertainment lounge” called Stumps, and more than 160 hotel suites.

The Twigs patio at the Delta Mountain Inn looks busy on a sunny summer afternoon.  Whistler Question Collection, 1983.

The suites were categorized into three different layouts.  The A suites consisted of a single room with kitchen, living and sleeping areas; B suites included a separate bedroom and six foot jacuzzi; nine C suites featured a bedroom, separate dining area, two fireplaces, and a double jacuzzi.  One owner paid $600,000 (just under $1.5 million today when adjusted for inflation) for the creation of a D suite, a 2800 sq ft combination of a B and a C suite with a few walls removed.

John Pope, the Mountain Inn’s first general manager, described opening a new hotel as similar to a ship’s maiden voyage.  The first few weeks are full of learning experiences and then it is “full steam ahead.”  Over the spring and summer of 1982, Pope had the task of hiring and training a full staff to service the hotel and the customers who had already booked nights.  Staff from other Delta hotels were to be loaned to the Mountain Inn for the first week of operations, but after that they were on their own.

One of the first customers makes an inquiry at the reception desk of the newly opened Delta Mountain Inn last Friday.  Whistler Question Collection, 1982.

Though the opening of the Delta Mountain Inn was counted as a great success, the summer of 1982 was not the easiest time for Whistler.  The opening took place the same week that the sudden wind down of the Whistler Village Land Co. made headlines in Vancouver, headlines that would reportedly “make one think the gates to Whistler have been locked forever and someone has thrown away the key.”  Whistler was feeling the effects of an international recession, including high interest rates, inflation and high rates of unemployment across Canada.

Despite the timing, people in Whistler were optimistic.  When asked by the Question what they thought of the opening, local residents Lance Fletcher, Keith Inkster and Don Beverley all expected the convention facilities and nationally recognized name to help drive business to the resort.  Their expectations proved correct over the following years and in 1987 a $13 million second phase of the development was built, including 126 more suites, new tennis courts and expanded retail and commercial space.  This expansion completed the structure that is such a familiar view in Mountain Square today.

This Week In Photos: November 29

1979

One of the many new international symbol signs at Garibaldi Lifts.

Mr. Bob Ainsworth, the new general manager of Garibaldi Lifts Ltd., Whistler operation.

The pillared form of package no. 2 rises at the Town Centre looking like a southern mansion.

A study in concentration – Trev Roote carves out house number signs at the Fall Fair.

The new first aid room in the old garage building at the lift base.

New signs for winter parking regulations were revealed this week.

One of Whistler Disposal’s new front-loading garbage compactor trucks at work at the Mons site.

1980

Evelyn and Harold Cullen cut their 40th anniversary cake.

The products of the Mountain Cake Bake – part of the annual Fall Fair.

The snow arrives – an early scene in Alpine Meadows.

Mayor Pat Carleton shows off Town Centre to Jim Lorimer, Charles Barter and Bob Williams.

1981

The proposed course for the 1982 World Cup was discussed at the latest meeting.

Pottery of all kinds was for sale at the Fall Fair over the last weekend.

Eager skiers head up for the fresh snow on Blackcomb…

… while skis pile up at the base.

The latest winter fashions were on show in the Myrtle Philip School gym.

1982

A dozen of the finest roses is presented to Kay Carleton, the woman behind the man during Pat Carleton’s seven-year term as Whistler’s mayor. One of the municipality’s first aldermen, Garry Watson, presented the gift to Mrs. Carleton during a surprise party held at the Delta Mountain Inn November 29 for the retiring mayor.

Ahoy there mate! November 27 was moving day for the sailboat being built by Cress Walker and Paul Clark in Alpine Meadows. Her maiden voyage took her to a new berth in Whistler’s Industrial Park.

Diane Smith (left) and Karen Benoit smile from their ticket wickets where they offer new two-mountain passes for $20/day. Youth can ski both mountains for $15/day and children for $5. These tickets are also available in two, three and five-day packages.

Superset for a super skier. Blackcomb’s Hugh Smythe sits in ‘the chair’ at the Downhill Shop while skitodics expert John Colpitts fits him out with a pair of Superset footbeds.

Whistler’s newest citizens join their moms for a well-baby clinic with Public Health Nurse Marilyn McIvor. From left to right in the front row are Brock Crofton and mom Yvonne, Jaclyn and Suzi McCance, Andrew and Lee Bennett and Alexandra and Donna Liakakos. Behind are Robin and Tamsin Miller, Marilyn McIvor and Trevor and Jean Dally.

What’s new in ski wear this season? Whistlerites got a chance to find out November 26 at the Winter What to Wear fashion show,held at Delta Mountain Inn. Above Andrea Maw and Nigel Woods – a dazzling duo – show off the latest in winter wear.

Betty Jarvis greets visitors Rich, Robin and Tamsin Miller to the opening of Beau’s Restaurant Wednesday.

1984

Trev Roote, chairman of the Advisory Parks and Recreation Commission, became Whistler’s fifth Freeman Monday, in recognition of his five years at the helm of municipal parks development – as a volunteer. Roote, 55, is a West Vancouver businessman, but spent considerable time here first of all finding out what recreation needs are and then, in 1981, gaining referendum approval of $2 million parks spending.

Mike Snetsinger, Whistler Mountain lift attendant, helps a youngster onto the west side rope tow.

Whistler Mountain lift attendant Heather Watson loads ’em on Sunday at the Olive Chair. About 13,000 people skied the mountain on the first big weekend of the ski season.

The owner of the car municipal works foreman Gord Voncina unearthed on Mountainview Drive Monday learned an important lesson: don’t park on the road allowance, and doubly don’t let your car get buried in snow. A grader using back banks Monday morning discovered the car by accident, and it appeared some other driver had already smacked the car.

Wednesday marked a long evening at the Black Forest of roasting and toasting Jenny and Nello Busdon – more fondly known as Nelly and Jello. Representatives from virtually every community group paid tribute to the 17 years of service and dedication the Busdons have contributed to the valley. They leave this week with their children Nicholas and Melanie for Sun Valley.

Remember the huge exposed boulder near the front entrance of The Highland Lodge? Well, now it forms one of the walls inside the entrance way following a $500,000 facelift of the oldest continuously operated lodge in Whistler.

In one of his last official duties as mayor, Mark Angus cuts the ribbon to officially open the Whistler Valley Housing Society Project at the gondola Saturday. He is flanked by John Nicholls, Vancouver branch manager for Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and the three ribbon holders: Lisa Koby, Stephanie Simpson and Michele Zinsli. A reception followed in The Keg.

Management consultant David Golinsky spoke last week to Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises’ 120 employees with an eye to upgrading their skills in dealing with customers. Golinsky’s main theme is that employers and employees have to work as a team. He said there are certain basic guidelines for dealing with customers, but at the same time not all tourism programs offer skills needed for specific industries, such as skiing, and part of his purpose is to offer seminars to fit that need. Whistler Mountain has also introduced a similar program for its employees.

This Week In Photos: November 1

If you’re looking for photos of Halloweens past, look no further than the Whistler Question Collection!

1978

This large pile of building material debris collecting under the power line at Function Junction.

Package #7 – The new Post Office site is identified at the Town Centre with the school in the background.

The western pine log home nearing completion in Alpine Meadows – construction by Canadiana Homes Corp.

1980

Whistler Daycare Hallowe’en Party!

Jack Davey (far right) talks to one of his first customers in his new hardware store in the Town Centre. Only open a week, the store boasts a huge inventory of dry goods from kitchen ware to backyard tools.

Blue Northern belted out the dancin’ tunes to the delight of the 250+ customers that attended the Country Hoedown and Trucker’s Ball in the Blackcomb Maintenance garage. It was the third annual for the Cookhouse Organization.

Member of the fitness awareness squad that visited the school over the weekend chats with Joan Gross as she pedals the specially adapted exercise bike that measures how the body’s cardiovascular system is working.

The Town Centre as it is this last week of October from the north looking south. Parking is now available on the large football field-looking structure to the right. The structures at the bottom left are the employee trailers, the circle in the middle is for dropping passengers at Blackcomb Lodge and Phase Two projects are shown in various states of construction in the middle left.

1981

Auctioneer Paul Burrows offers the giant collage by Chris Speedie for sale at the Ski Team Benefit. The picture fetched a tidy $1,100.

Discussing the benefits of the benefit (l to r): Dennis Waddingham, Steve Podborski, Dave Murray, Toulouse and Deedee Haight of the Alpine Ski Team.

There were bewildering moments for many Whistler residents upon awakening Saturday, October 31 to the sounds of raging creeks. This resident of Panorama Drive in Brio says it all with a shrug – after all, what can you say when there’s a river where there once was none?

Norm Dedeluk (centre) gets more than a helping hand from two fellow volunteer firemen in dislodging debris from raging Brio Creek.

Half of the Myrtle Philip Kindergarten Class – from the left: Kris Jones, Kelly Hamilton, Michael Hoffmann, Simon Beller, Christopher Systad, Aaron Gross, Alexander Fordham and Karen Kogler.

Principal Bob Daly is surrounded by teachers Sue Christopher (left) and Sandra Pauliuk-Epplett all dressed in their Halloween finery.

1982

Smokey Batzer demonstrates artificial resuscitation techniques to employees of the Delta Mountain Inn.

And the winner is… Steve Podborski draws the lucky number of the grand prize winner at the Canadian National Ski Team Benefit as Dennis Waddingham looks on. The benefit was held October 29 at L’Apres.

His Honour Dave Murray passes royal judgement on the winning costume at Araxi’s first birthday party Sunday, October 31. Lucky Andre walked away with $100 for his light and airy costume, which just may give the mountains some bright ideas for transporting skiers.

Halloween brought all kinds in all sorts of outfits into Whistler Village October 30 and 31. Revellers whooped it up at Nasty Jack’s Halloween Party and Bullets Cabaret.

What better way to end an evening of trick or treating than being treated to Whistler’s third annual Halloween fireworks display, put on by the Whistler Volunteer Fire Department.

Provincial crews began taking apart the Bailey bridge which spans the River of Golden Dreams at Highway 99. Work on the dismantling job began November 1.

1983

Members of the Canadian Olympic Soccer Team gathered in Myrtle Philip playing field Tuesday after training on top of Whistler Mountain Monday. Twenty-one players and coaching staff head to Mexico City Saturday to battle against the Mexican national team which they defeated 1-0 in Victoria. The Canadian team must draw or win against Mexico to advance to the next round in the Olympic qualifying matches. Good luck lads!

Gruesome monster Davey Blaylock tricked and treated with timid lion Jake Humphrey and hideous Swamp Thing Aaron Gross. Students of Myrtle Philip School paraded before parents in the gym before going off to Halloween parties in their classrooms.

One of the, ah, more penetrating costumes worn by a reveller in the Mountain House.

It was a Monday full of goblins, ghouls and costumes as Whistlerites celebrated Halloween around the village. Kids and parents watch fireworks in front of the Tri-Services Building put on by the Volunteer Fire Department. Coffee and a huge log fire kept everyone warm as they oohed and aahed the well-organized fireworks display.

The first crests and embroidered garments will soon be rolling off a computerized embroidery machine at Function Junction. Owners Jan Holmberg and Ted Nebbeling paid $80,000 for the Japanese-made machine that has twelve sewing heads.

1984

Antonio Pellin from Custom Paving takes a 16 tonne compacting machine to Highway 99 at Village Gate Boulevard in preparation for the final paving and installation of a traffic light at the intersection. Once the work is completed this month, Whistler will have its first traffic light and the intersection will have an extra lane for turning into the village from both north and south.

About 12 cm of powdery snow covered the valley Tuesday in the first major snowfall of the season. A group of local women decided to herald the unofficial beginning of winter by building a ‘snow-woman’ in Village Square Tuesday. The ‘snow-woman’ featured brussel sprouts for a mouth, potatoes for eyes and a carrot for the nose.

Youngsters at Myrtle Philip School had their first frolic in the snow Tuesday morning, arriving at the school to find their friends as well as about 12 cm of fresh new powder.