Mr. Barnett’s editorial of July 10th regarding the fact that the German National Olympic Committee needs to secure 100 rooms otherwise they will be moving the German House to Vancouver was bang on but I’d like to make one important clarification. They need 100 rooms at full service, “proper” hotels.
The editorial mentions that they need 4 star properties, but unfortunately the very nice one-bedroom suites in Whistler’s condo style hotels do not qualify, as they need to have amenities such as room service and daily housekeeping for their guests.
The Germans gave me a mandate to help find 100 studio or one bedroom suites in Whistler and I had a full slate of site visits planned at various condo style properties around the resort on Saturday, June 28th. They called on Friday and they proceeded to cancel all the site tours as they simply were not interested in condos and clearly confirmed that they were only interested in the full service hotels. They did an extensive tour of Whistler’s top hotels on Saturday morning, but blew off the site visits of the condo style hotels in order to free up more time to head back to Vancouver to scope out potential venues in the city.
VANOC has blocked the rooms at most of the full service hotels in town. They have indicated that they’d love to help the Germans get 100 rooms at the hotels they have, which is terrific and Whistler should thank them for that, but the issue they have is they still have not met their complete needs as they can’t get enough of the stratified condos to participate in their program. This means they don’t have the ability to simply give 100 hotel rooms to the Germans. It’s not as though all the condos are booked. In fact, it’s quite the opposite as most of the condos are not booked. The problem is the owners have not made them available as they seem to be holding out for the “pay off the mortgage” deal, which simply isn’t going to happen.
I think Whistler’s situation is best summed up by quoting from a significant 2010 client who was explaining their decision making process. She said: “The advantages of basing our program in Vancouver are that we can get all our rooms at a full service hotel under one roof, it is 1/3 the cost given we’re looking at low season rates in Vancouver, we bring our clients in for waves of four-night stays so it’s much easier logistically and all the events we want to watch are in Vancouver. It’s a no-brainer for us to choose Vancouver.”