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Funding sought for Celebration Plaza

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The municipality could be kicking in as much as $5 million for the development of the Whistler Celebration Plaza on Lot 1/9.

The money is slated to come from hotel tax, which is the money the municipality collects on every rented hotel room in the resort. Roughly $6 million flows into municipal coffers annually from hotel tax, upped significantly last year after the provincial government approved financial tools, or a bigger share of the hotel tax, for Whistler and other resort towns.

The municipality has identified almost $20 million in potential funding sources for the Whistler Live Sites program.

That includes $14.2 million for the development of the Whistler Celebration Plaza on Lot 1/9. Lot 1/9 is the last remaining undeveloped piece of land in the village. It needs to be cleared of the majority of its trees and serviced with power and water in order to be the Whistler Celebration Plaza.

The federal government will be asked to contribute $10 million — half for programming the Live Sites event, the other half for capital infrastructure on Lot 1/9.

VANOC will provide $4.2 million for the Celebration Plaza — $3 million of that comes from a promise made to the municipality after VANOC asked it to give up building the sledge hockey arena and $1.2 million from the sledge hockey venue agreement.

Municipal staff is expected to come to council with a budget for the development and program in early- to mid-October.

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