Opinion » Alta States

Alta States

Seeking sustained prosperity

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The work with Mathews and company was stimulating — and challenging. No question about it. But it was the location that really worked on the young planner. “I still remember my first impressions of Whistler clearly,” he says. “When I got here, I was supposed to meet Paul at their offices. But I had no idea where I was going. So when I got to Whistler, I stopped at the Petro-Can for directions. They told me to head north, but on the way, I decided to pull over at a little lakeside park I saw on the side of the road.” Harley couldn’t contain his emotions anymore. He slid out of his truck and literally jumped up and down with excitement. “Elation. Joy. Amazement. I felt them all. I was so happy to be here, I just couldn’t believe it.” He stops for a moment. Lets the memories of that day wash over him again. “You know,” he says. “Those feelings stay with me to this day. I still can’t believe how lucky I am to be here…”

And those feelings are never very far away, he adds. His concerns for the future aside, Harley maintains he is still as big a fan of Whistler as he was when he first stopped to celebrate on the shores of Alta Lake nearly 30 years ago. “Over the years, I’ve travelled to a lot of different resorts in a lot of different countries,” he says. “I’ve stayed in some wonderful mountain towns — places with great ambiance and beautiful surroundings. But none has ever managed to make me re-think my decision to live here at Whistler. This is still where I want to live. This is my favourite place in the world.”

He stops. Takes a long breath. “I just want to make sure that my children and my children’s children can say the same thing about Whistler too.”

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