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Cornucopia visitor numbers up on strong late accommodation bookings

Masquerave a few tickets short of selling out



Early reports indicate Cornucopia's main objective was achieved.

The official numbers are expected later this month on the fall festival created to attract more visitors to the resort at a slow time of the year. Lynn Chappell, the Tourism Whistler manager of partnerships, promotions and events, said that based on anecdotal information collected over the weekend there's strong evidence suggesting business was up through the Cornucopia weekend.

"We know that business levels were really good," said Chappell. "They were equal to or even better than last year. We know that business was particularly strong on Friday and Saturday."

According to Chappell, most of the people in the resort for the weekend were visiting specifically for Cornucopia.

"What we did see this year was a lot of last minute bookings," Chappell said. "It was very strong less than four days out and most people were staying one to two nights."

Sue Eckersley, the President of Watermark Communications, said there was a really great energy in the village and a good buzz about the events through the weekend.

"Event-wise, there wasn't anything that bombed and I think everything went really well," said Eckersley.

There was a glitch with one of the private residence events when a bus couldn't get to the home because of slippery roads.

"The guests, like troopers, walked close to half a kilometre in their high heels and their fancy dresses up hills," said Eckersley. "Everybody was in good spirits. They arrived at the house and wine glasses went into their hands. It speaks to the clientele who come to Whistler."

According to Eckersley, the anchor events all received positive feedback and she was particularly happy with the event put on by the Longhorn Pub because it was very accessible with an entry fee of only $15 with good value offered at the event.

She described this Cornucopia as her favourite so far.

The owner of the Bearfoot Bistro, Andre St. Jacques, said Masquerave returned to Cornucopia 46 tickets shy of selling out.

It was a big weekend for St. Jacques with his parking garage party starting at 7 p.m. and ending at 4 a.m. After the party ended, St. Jacques said he and a number of other people moved on to a private residence and kept up the fun for a few more hours.

"It was a big undertaking to use a garage and make it into a nightclub," said St. Jacques.

The entertainment at the event included body painted models dancing on raised platforms, DJ's, a laser light show, dancers, acrobats, live music performers and a number of art installations. St. Jacques commissioned a piece that will be donated to Whistler to acknowledge the community's contribution to One Drop, the charity St. Jacques is committed to supporting with a $100,000 donation. The amount of money Masquerave generated for One Drop wasn't known but St. Jacques said he is certain that he will continue fundraising for the organization through the winter. One Drop is dedicated to making clean water accessible to people in the third world.