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Driving range to ease parking crunch

600-stall parking lot opens this weekend


Whistler is getting roughly 600 more free parking spots for day skier traffic beginning this weekend.

The Whistler Golf Club Driving Range has been transformed into a temporary parking lot that will open on Saturday, Nov. 28. It will be free of charge until Dec. 19.

"The addition of this new parking is great news for skiers and riders as it helps to alleviate the strain on the current day lots, some of which are being used for Games-time preparation," said Doug Forseth, senior vice president of operations at Whistler Blackcomb.

The lot will not be operational during the 2010 Olympic Games as the additional car volume will negatively impact Games traffic throughout Whistler.

The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Games (VANOC) worked with Tourism Whistler to secure the property, funded and facilitated the upgrades and will hand it over to Whistler Blackcomb for parking management this weekend.

"This parking opportunity will benefit the business community this winter season by attracting recreational skiers and ultimately result in an enhanced driving range at the Whistler Golf Club," said Dick Vollet, VANOC's vice president of mountain operations.

"Whistler is open for business in 2010 and Tourism Whistler and the RMOW's support of this initiative is enabling enhancement of day skier visits throughout the 2009-2010 season."

The driving range will become pay parking on Dec. 19. Guests will be able to pre-pay in advance and reserve a parking spot once the pay parking is in effect. The prices have not yet been finalized.