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hostel upgrade

The Whistler hostel may be upgraded and the municipality would get some community space under a preliminary plan put forward by Hostelling International Canada. The hostel, on Alta Lake Road, includes six cabins and a main lodge, parts of which were included in the original Cypress Lodge run by Dick Fairhurst in the 1940s and ’50s. The site is divided by the BC Rail line which separates the main lodge and three cabins on Alta Lake from an upper area where another three cabins and a garage are located. The preliminary redevelopment plans put forward by Hostelling International would turn four of the cabins into employee housing and convert the main lodge to an activity centre, which would be jointly managed by the municipality and the hostelling association. The two remaining cabins would be removed. A new 800 square metre hostel would be built on the upper site. The redevelopment plan would require rezoning, to allow for additional gross floor area and new uses. Additional bed units would be required for the employee housing. The site has been identified in the municipality’s Heritage Plan but redevelopment plans are consistent with the heritage policy. The concept for the hostel redevelopment came after Hostelling International advised the municipality last year that the current hostel facilities are inadequate. Last November council rejected a proposed land exchange which would have seen Hostelling International swap their Alta Lake Road site for a site on Blueberry Hill. Whistler council supported the revised concept on Monday, although a specific proposal still has to come to council.

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