In response to your editorial (Incremental growth is Whistler's future, Opening Remarks Dec. 2) I do have to agree that value for money is the key. We priced up coming again in 2011 and nearly fell off our chairs when the prices quoted were much higher than last year - even though we came at Easter peak season and this trip it will be March. I had given up hope of coming in 2011.
However, just before the early bookings discounts finished I checked again and Virgin came up with a deal that was the same price as last trip. But only them, the rest were still silly money. So we are coming again, but it was only just. I read this paper online most weeks and was stunned when the trip was going to be much more expensive when you are under quota.
I am not sure where the extra money is going as it is all tied up in a package deal for us. Maybe it is the extra tax slapped on, your side and ours. Just like governments to ensure they get their cut. But please note the "downward spiral of prices" you think is happening was not translated to us.
Why do we like coming back there and not heading for Europe?
We know we will always get a great welcome; the staff on the mountain are always especially brilliant. There will be super snow, reasonable lodgings and food each night, as long as we book a table the day before! Also for us, direct flights from the UK. Direct from Manchester would be even better but that died with Zoom's demise. It's hard work getting to the USA resorts which is why we have never tried it - although we thought about it. Don't lose the daily flights.
What do we want? Keep the welcome, smaller lift queues - open more lifts. Not necessarily more terrain, although you can never have too much. There have been big queues when we come, which has always previously been at peak Easter season so maybe this year it will be better. I do have to comment on the queue management being very well done with everyone taking turns. Much better than the free for all bun fights in Europe with part filled chairs going, as groups only travel together. You meet some great people on chairlifts.
Huge issue for us is more things for non-skiers, non-thrill junkies to do. This is a big issue for our family as my wife does not enjoy skiing. So we have to drag her here kicking and screaming "last time... ever". After the snowshoes then what?