News » Whistler

Local dies on skiing trip


By Adam Daff and Clare Ogilvie

Whistler has lost one of its most industrious businessmen to a skiing accident in the Kootenays.

Local real estate developer and father of four Wayne Phillips, 43, was killed last Monday, Jan. 26 th while cat skiing near the Retallack resort.

The Retallack resort prides itself on pristine powder skiing and according to several sources Phillips skied there ever year.

The Kaslo RCMP and the local coroner are handling the investigation into Phillips’s death and the results of the autopsy are expected today.

Condolences for the Phillips’s family have already begun to flood in. The outpouring of grief does not surprise Keith Auchinachie, who knew Phillips for over a decade and worked with him in the building profession.

"One thing he never did was fail to pay us on time and well, and that in itself makes him a gem in this (building) business," Auchinachie said.

Phillips was a small-scale private developer who built and then sold his own homes. He also contracted his building expertise on a freelance basis.

In addition to his skills as a builder, Phillips was also involved in the entertainment industry.

Every year he travelled to Vancouver for the duration of he Pacific National Exhibition to look after part of the family business, Conklin Shows, which runs rides, games and other entertainments at the fair.

As well as being a sound businessman, Auchinachie said Phillips was also fun to be around socially.

"He was always very fond of his red wine and he fancied himself a bit of a wine connoisseur," he said.

"I remember he had a pretty neat wine cellar put in his house."

Phillips’s funeral will be held on Saturday, Jan. 31 at the West Vancouver United Church.

Further details can be found in an obituary or at www.