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Five specialty liquor stores proposed for village



With five applications for private liquor stores in the pipeline, council is reticent to move ahead with an application from the Westin on its own accord.

At its last meeting council sent the lone application back and asked staff to bring all the applications forward as one package in order to make a more informed decision.

Council was told there were applications pending not only for the Westin Resort & Spa but also the Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa, the Listel Hotel, the Delta Whistler Village Suites and the Brewhouse.

They were also told that the province has set a December deadline for approval of the applications.

Tracy Chong, development manager with Cressey, the owner of the Westin, said it was only fair council asked to see all applications together.

"I think that they have to look at each application together so they can see what’s best for the village," she said this week.

But she sees a specialty beer and wine store in the Westin as a way of drawing people to that area of the village, which isn’t a main thoroughfare for pedestrian traffic.

"I think that people walk down the Village Stroll and they don’t automatically think of making a right to go towards the Westin and I think by having a liquor store down in that area it would bring more people to that area," said Chong.

The Westin has been working on its application for roughly a year.

Chong said they would like to get the 1,300 square foot store up and running as soon as possible with a third party operator.

Council has asked staff to come back with information for a workshop session.

In 2002 the province accepted applications for licensee retail stores, which are private liquor stores attached to a bar or pub, and received more than 500 applications. In May 2004, the government announced it was not accepting new applications for at least four more years.