The soul, the magic and the future
I have read Michel Beaudrys Alta States profiles over the past five weeks with interest. Michels passionate story-telling style brings his interview subjects to life and gives all those who may not have known these characters insight into the pioneers who have been instrumental in building this resort.
Michels appreciation for the vision of each of these pioneers is shared by many of us. Great things are built by visionaries with passion and intelligence, and Whistler has been rich in this. There is no question that each of these men profiled has significantly contributed to the resorts success. Their concerns about our future must be heeded.
Michel is right. We cannot lose sight of where we have come from, and what the foundation of our success has been. We need to be mindful of the soul and magic that created this resort, but also look to the future, accept where we are today, and find new ways to re-create that magic AND create some new magic! Some of our visionaries have come and gone, but there is a whole new generation that cares just as deeply about their home, livelihoods and passions as those Michel speaks of.
The next generation of Whistler visionaries that live and work throughout the resort are grappling with the new world reality that Whistler finds itself operating within. This group struggles to hold on to what our pioneers created, and strives to find new ways to carry the resort through the next 20 years. This group faces issues that would have been unimaginable to our forefathers 40 years ago, or even six years ago. Issues such as global terrorist threats; a 90 cent US dollar; a highly competitive arena for guests leisure dollars; global warming and climate change; war; and a growing oil crisis are all familiar issues on the list. On the home front the resort is dealing with a massive, hungry economic engine that needs to be fed year-round in order for our businesses to survive.
We are big, there is no question. Though this is where our magic first stemmed from big, bold, vast and dramatic mountains (and weather)! This is what separates us from our competition. As Michel quotes Garry Watson as saying in his July 20th article, we cannot compete with resorts like Sun Peaks by saying that we offer a comparable (family) experience we are in no way comparable! The experience we offer is bold, vibrant, diverse and edgy. And looking at the diverse demographic profile of the crowds watching last months hugely successful Crankworx events, we can still create magic, and stay true to who we are. As a big resort, we need to attract many guests from all walks of life to be successful. We can attract and pamper the international market with the very best we have to offer, and yet still need to focus on our local and regional market who have supported us from day one and continue to be our core supporters. We also need to ensure that we dont lose sight of our youth who are captivated by the aspirational images from Whistler in the action sport media. They continue to be key to our success.