Sixty thousand dollars to
rent a home for one month over the Olympic period could be too much for at
least one Whistler homeowner to turn down.
“I’ve been approached for 28
days,” said the homeowner, who asked not to be named.
“The money is fairly
The deal, which has not yet
been signed, would mean that the home, including the one bedroom suite, would
need to be vacated for the Olympic time period.
This homeowner has already
approached his tenants with a proposal — vacate for a month and come back to
six months free rent.
The couple, one who works in
construction and the other who works in the hospitality industry, wasted no
time agreeing he said, seeing the golden opportunity for a month long vacation
while saving roughly $5,000 in rent upon their return.
But that means they won’t be
working in Whistler during the Games. And that could be a problem for the
The issue, which has been
worrying resort leaders, was raised again at the Olympic town hall meeting on
In response to questions
about the accommodation, Mayor Ken Melamed issued a plea to homeowners to
understand the problem and not exacerbate it.
“This is less about them and
more about us and Canada,” he told the audience at Millennium Place.
“Show the world that
Canadians are the gracious hosts that we are.”
In an interview later this
week he admitted that $60,000 is a lot of money and hard to say no to.
“I understand the appeal,” he
said. “It’s hard not to find that attractive.”
On the one hand this
homeowner, like many others who have been approached, is simply taking
advantage of market conditions and meeting a need that has presented itself
with the Olympics. On the other hand, less homes for locals could spell
disaster for a resort that needs to function at well beyond its normal busy
capacity come February 2010.
The mayor cautioned that
homeowners taking the short-term gain could have a negative impact on the resort
in the long-term.