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Letters to The Editor

This week's letters

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It’s our future

It is not news that over the last few years our room night visitations have decreased and it is no secret that room nights, to a large extent, drive revenue.

Working in the financial services sector in the resort for the last 10 years and sitting on the Chamber of Commerce Board through 2004, I have seen firsthand the challenges that small and medium size business owners face as their livelihoods become threatened – in some cases, threatened to the point where entrepreneurs have decided that the economic returns do not justify their investment.

Investment capital, as with the tourist dollar, is transitory and can easily move to a location where the opportunities are better and optimism is high. Many of Whistler's entrepreneurs have worked for years to help build a high-quality resort and have contributed, not only through personal investment, but also through property taxes, Tourism Whistler fees and the hotel tax. A vibrant Whistler economy has helped us to develop the many amenities that we have, as well as the Whistler 2020 Strategy. Without a doubt our social, environmental and economic fabric will continue to be challenged if this downward occupancy trend continues.

Since I am open to listening to what all the candidates have to say, I do not presume to suggest for whom you should vote. In the run up to election day, there will be many opportunities to ask questions of the mayoral and council candidates in a variety of forums. Look at their record in economic matters and ask them specifically how they will help drive visits to the resort? During the next mandate mayor and council will take trips to a variety of locations around the world. During their travels, how will they represent Whistler and will they promote visitations to the resort? What type of stewards will they be with our tax dollars? The record of the incumbents speaks for itself and those seeking office for the first time should stand on their contributions to the resort.

On Nov. 19th make your vote count and however the democratic process manifests itself; the one certainty is that we must reverse the trend and increase room nights.

The other certainty is that on Nov. 20th, the sun will rise and we will still be blessed to live in one of the greatest places in the world. I am optimistic that Whistler will collectively work towards increasing room nights and providing more affordable housing units to those people who will be our future leaders. The fabric of the resort depends upon our ability to ask the questions and assess the sincerity and qualifications of those running. It's our future.

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