There was a noticeably larger contingent of well dressed, well worked-out men in the bars, clubs, restaurants and around town the last 10 days and you could hedge your bets they were here for Altitude, Whistlers gay and lesbian ski week.
This was the 11th year for the mountain adventure and early figures showed attendee numbers, while slightly down from 2002, were still strong, at about 2000 visitors. Altitude spokesperson, Brad Beattie, said: "Accommodation and ticket sales were solid with most events selling out well in advance. This positive response is impressive when you consider the absence of the conference centre, which has been our main hub of activity in previous years. Add to that low snow fall and a sagging economy and we had a lot working against us."
Altitude's events were moved all over the village to select hotels and the culminating party, Snow Ball, was held at the Myrtle Phillip Community Centre.
"With over 24 events and activities planned for the week it took some time to find appropriate venues but many businesses went out of their way to accommodate our group needs, which was truly amazing," said Beattie.
The volunteers were an added bonus more than 100 people from Whistler, Vancouver and across the United States put their hand up to help out.
Whistler-Blackcomb said Altitude organizers have already confirmed they will be returning in February 2004.