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: Construction began on the Whistler Village Resort/Recreation Centre in March 1980. It was still under construction when, in 1981, a recession hit North America and the Whistler Village Land Company (WVLC) found themselves with debts of almost $8 million, liabilities coming to $30 million, and assets in the form of land that nobody wanted to buy. In January 1983, the provincial government formed Whistler Land Co. Developments (WLC; a Crown corporation) and took over the liabilities and assets of the WVLC, including the unfinished Resort Centre. WLC began reconstructing the site as a conference centre without the extra recreational facilities originally planned for the Resort Centre and the facility became known as the Sports & Convention Centre, today the Whistler Conference Centre. Find out more here.
Question: Are you satisfied with the progress being made on the Sports & Convention Centre?
Sue Rosser – Book Store Manager – Alpine Meadows
I think they should be moving much faster than they are on summer facilities because that’s what Whistler really needs. Rather than village clean-up and other projects I think they should have made finishing the convention centre a priority. I am glad they’re considering changes to the original plans and taking time to improve them.
Doug Fox – Chartered Accountant – Emerald Estates
Sure I am, considering the problems they are faced with in that structure. I don’t think people appreciate how complex that building is. The WLC board is only realizing now how complex and critical it is to put together the right components. I’m not surprised at all at the time taken and I’m glad they’re moving ahead on it.
Chris Moore – Real Estate Agent – Alpine Meadows
If the rec centre had been in the hands of the private sector it would be on line by now. I have an inkling of how the public sector works though, and can understand the delay. I’m sure they’ll eventually come up with an appropriate marketing strategy for the building.
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 Whistler Village Land Company, a subsidiary of the Resort Municipality of Whistler, was formed in 1978 to oversee the development of the Town Centre.
Question: How do you view the current role of the Land Company in the development of Whistler?
W. Doug Fox – Vice-President of Finance & Operations – Whistler Village Land Co.
It’s very simple – our role is to develop the remaining private sites in the village in conjunction with the private sector. That always has been the role and still it.
The main role of the Land Company is not promoting and marketing. The specific role is developing sites for sale to the private sector. We don’t have anything if we don’t have the sites.
Mike Vance – Coordinator of Planning and Design – Whistler Village Land Co.
Ideally, if economic conditions were better, the Land Company would remain involved in planning, design and servicing of Whistler Village throughout the completion of the project.
But under present conditions, the Land Company can’t stay as involved as it has been in the past in planning and design coordination.
A lot of operation of the village – planning and design – will now have to be assumed by the municipality.
David O’Keefe – Skier Services and North Side Coordinator – Whistler Mountain Ski Corp.
Originally it was a coordinating body to market and sell the land available in the new Town Centre.
Right now it should positively continue along that line. Unfortunately we’re in a time of buyer restraint, but that doesn’t mean we should stop the whole thing.
The mandate has been set, and since times are more difficult the Land Company should be going even further afield to market land sites.
Greg Griffith – Photographer – Owner of Mountain Moments
It should be a decreasing role in the future. Municipal staff and our elected officials should now be the ones making the types of decisions the Land Company has been handling.
I think it’s great the Land Company got things going, but now they should be winding down gracefully since the Town Centre is rapidly approaching fulfillment of its initial mandate.
Sid Young – Alderman – Land Company Director – Travel Agent
I don’t see it as any different than it ever has been.
Although, because of the level of development which has occurred to date, I do see the possibility of reducing the size of the Land Company and therefore its operational costs.
Al Raine – Executive Director – Whistler Resort Association
The reality is that is number one objective must be its own survival.
Its number two objective should be the completion of Village Stroll and the main village core, as well as the Sports & Convention Centre.
Ideally, it also should be looking at a leadership role in terms of providing tourist services and a tourist product.
Posted in Whistler's Answers
Tagged Al Raine, David O'Keefe, Doug Fox, Greg Griffith, Mike Vance, Sid Young, Whistler Answers, Whistler history, Whistler Museum, Whistler Question, Whistler Village Land Company