A new beginning
It has been three weeks since WinterPRIDE and I want to thank Whistler for being such a great host to all our guests, who came from all corners of the world to enjoy GayWhistler’s WinterPRIDE. We played host to over 2,600 international guests during the week of February 4 th , meeting and exceeding our projected numbers.
I have received lots of comments and feedback from our guests all saying how welcome they felt in Whistler and that they plan to come back and bring friends, not just for next year’s event but throughout the year.
I had to leave the event early as my father unexpectedly died Wednesday morning, I rushed back to Seattle but it was too late, he was 64 and had a massive heart attack just two steps outside his doorstep on his way to work. My father always taught me to finish what I started, so I came back to Whistler Thursday to host the first ever WinterPRIDE Banquet. The event was a huge success and the crown jewel of the week not because of the great entertainment with Cirque Du Soleil but because so many Whistler locals came out to enjoy the night with our guests. It was a bitter sweet night, I know my Dad was proud of me for bringing together a great community of 900 for a night of dinner, entertainment and dancing. It was a perfect evening that Whistler should be most proud of.
I had to leave first thing Friday morning to take care of my Mom and make arrangements for my Dad but the event went on without a hitch and our guests had a great time. Thank you Whistler for all your kind words of sympathy and support, it has meant a lot to me personally.
I have spent four years building GayWhistler and promoting Whistler as a gay friendly year round destination and it is paying off. Whistler for the first time is ranked in the top six Canadian destinations for U.S. Gay and Lesbians, a market worth over $55 billion in tourism. Whistler is on the verge of becoming world renowned for being a gay and lesbian welcoming vacation destination; we hope this is the year Whistler makes the investment to invite our guests to come back over and over again.
I could write a list pages long of people to personally thank but it is not any one individual that made GayWhistler’s WinterPRIDE a success, it was the community as a whole.
So again on behalf of the thousands of guests that came to enjoy our week of festivities THANK YOU. I hope you keep your rainbow stickers in your windows and show your support year round as we work hard to keep the pink dollars and gay and lesbian tourists coming back to Whistler.