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Letters to the Editor

Same old, same old, castles in the sky, cover girls too risque, radio news, Ashlu worries, and Boot kudos

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User fee abusers

So apparently our economic outlook is in free fall, the business community is looking for the parachutes, we elect a wholesale change in our council and we get the same old financial plan. No wonder it's so difficult to get any more than the same old crowd out to the polls. Even though this is the only chance we get every three or so years, supposedly to provide an input that can't be completely ignored.

When you see a document like this you really begin to wonder if we shouldn't be electing the administration and department heads instead of a group of councilors that are either being ignored or who apparently have succumbed to the mushroom treatment.

From the perspective of some of those who are trying to provide the activities that people actually come to Whistler for, the situation does indeed seem hopeless. That’s right, most people actually come to Whistler for the "activities". Specifically the "OUTDOOR NATURAL ACTIVITIES", yet not one of these words has ever made it into a "mission statement", a "vision" document, or any of the more ubiquitous "guiding principles" that are supposedly being used as a basis for the governance of this resort. The envious truth that is so hard to admit for everyone in the accommodation, restaurant and souvenir businesses, including all their support services, is that they are actually riding on the coattails of the "activity providers." After all if any or all of these other sectors were substantially reduced, would the rest of our resort actually suffer all that much?

However, if the selection and access-ability of the "activity providers" are substantially reduced then our guests will have substantially fewer reasons to come to Whistler and everyone suffers.

The possible exception is the municipal management who, coincidentally, would just have less work to do, less responsibility, and under the current system hardly any concerns regarding a personal loss of income or job security.

As a resort we must ensure our guests receive the best possible value for outdoor natural activities. These are the most memorable and comparable individual prices and are fundamental to the way our guests recall their experience in Whistler. The value of accommodations, meals, and souvenirs is far less important since the guest has usually accepted the accommodation prices before they arrive and for their other needs they have many choices to find a price range they are comfortable with. A bargain priced, or free, top quality activity, especially for regular participants of that activity, will overcome the value perceptions of many higher overall vacation bills.

We need to stop our municipal management from viewing "outdoor natural activity" participants as a cash source for them to impose taxes on.

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