Architects chosen for conference centre ‘refreshment’ Lutz and Associates Architects, the West Vancouver firm which designed the Roundhouse Lodge and Glacier Creek restaurants, have been hired to come up with a new design for the Whistler Conference Centre. Whistler Resort Association President Suzanne Denbak characterized the re-design of the conference centre as a "refreshment" which will include aesthetic upgrades of the interior and exterior and give the building a sense of presence and arrival. The renovations will also include an upgrade of telecommunications systems. The renovations are part of the One Whistler initiative. Members of the chamber of commerce, Whistler/Blackcomb, Intrawest, the municipality, the WRA and the accommodation and retail sectors have put together a co-operative strategy with the goal of securing Whistler’s position as the leading four-season destination resort in the world. Upgrading the conference centre is one of the tasks the One Whistler group had identified. Denbak said the WRA has had a couple of meetings with Lutz and Associates to convey the needs of conference centre clients but no design concepts have been established. Another meeting is scheduled for mid-March. No timetable has been set for work on the conference centre. Denbak said there is "potential for selling naming rights" to the refurbished conference centre and that such a deal could help finance the renovations. "Naming rights are under discussion," she said. The conference centre building was originally intended to be an ice rink and a focal point for the "new town centre," as the village was commonly referred to when development began in 1980. Work ceased on the building when the municipality ran into financial trouble during the recession. After the provincial government stepped in and assumed the Whistler Village Land Company’s assets and debts, including the partially finished ice rink, the building was retrofitted as a conference centre. The provincial government returned the conference centre, along with the Whistler Golf Club, to the municipality in 1989 in a deal that saw the province retain the zoned Village North lands. The province then sold off the Village North parcels while the municipality turned over operation of the conference centre and golf club to the WRA.