Creekside plans start this summer Welcome monument, flood work now; condos next year By Chris Woodall Whistler/Blackcomb plans for Creekside will be similar to Whistler Mountain's original plans, Pique Newsmagazine has learned, but with some differences that start to make an appearance during this summer's construction season. "We're going to spend quite a bit of money in there," says Whistler/Blackcomb’s Doug Forseth, senior vice president of operations. Similar is the Whistler Creek flood control work from the London Lane bridge up stream. Slightly different are plans for the base of Whistler Mountain. The left side (looking up-mountain) — three stories of condo development with a ground floor of retail spaces, day skier facilities and the new location for Dusty's — is similar to Whistler Mountain's 1996 proposal, Forseth says, but it will have some design changes that will make it look a little different. Forseth was president of Whistler Mountain Ski Corp. at the time the company became part of the Intrawest fold in early 1997. "The design exterior concept has changed, but if you haven't seen the original plans for some time you'll find it hard to note the differences," Forseth told Pique Newsmagazine. But that is Phase 2 of the mountain base plans and not due to be built until year 2000. Phase 1 won't start until spring 1999 and consists of a condo building with some day skier facilities on the ground floor, to be located in the area of the current Dusty's parking lot and the Whistler Ski Club cabin. Planned for this summer is construction of a sales and information pavilion at the corner of Highway 99 and Lake Placid Road, where the Whistler Chamber of Commerce and Skiers Chapel are until June 30, when they must be moved. "It will be built so that it becomes part of a larger permanent building on that site," Forseth says. Also at that location will be the start of work on a "Welcome to Whistler and Creekside" monument and park, Forseth says, that will act as a formal entry gate to the resort. Flood control work includes improving the berm along Whistler Creek and building a new skiers bridge on the Dave Murray Downhill over the creek. London Lane will also get a facelift with paving and a bus drop-off spot. The parking lot will remain. "It's vital to us," Forseth says. But it will be decked — eventually — to maintain or even add to the minimum 1,030 parking spaces required for that area. "You can't build a ski base where people can't park," Forseth says. "We want to put as many cars there as we can to support that ski base." But not to worry, the decked parking structure will be designed so that it won't seem to be decked when viewed from the highway, Forseth says. The commitment to bring skiers right to the base of Whistler Mountain is part of a philosophy that all five ski lift base points provide balanced access to the mountains. (The base points are Whistler Creekside gondola, Whistler Village gondola, Excalibur gondola at the Village, Excalibur at Base II Station, and the Wizard Express quad lift at Blackcomb Daylodge Base.) "We want to keep people comfortable," Forseth says.