Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed Out

Any ideas? The time has come

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And not to be unkind to the people I seasonally work for but guys, I think you’re running low on reality pills if you really believe a peak to peak gondola is going to generate the kind of excitement that – what was that example? – Niagara Falls does.

But Ken’s idea is a textbook example of what Tourism Whistler claims they want to do, our elected leaders claim they want to do, Whistler-Blackcomb claims they want to do… but in reality rarely gets done. Thinking outside the box.

Thinking outside the box is an idea so abused by box dwellers I almost feel soiled writing it. Whenever I hear someone saying they’re thinking outside the box I cringe in anticipation of their next utterance, which will probably be that they’re shifting a paradigm. And the only thing I can know for certain is that they’re so far down inside the box it’ll take the sun going supernova for them to see the light.

Like all interesting ideas though, Ken’s set the box afire and challenged the status quo. It posed a question: Why do we want to tart up a pointless space for half the year when we can reclaim the space for something better?

Having walked and driven by the driving range countless times, it’s absurdity never failed to impress me. Not just the general absurdity of driving ranges in general but the idea that smack dab in the middle of one of the most vibrant and expensive places in the whole country there’s this vast expanse of land that sits fallow as a farmer’s field all winter and, on a per square foot basis, probably generates less revenue the rest of the year than any other business in town… including the vast acreage of both Whistler and Blackcomb in the summertime!

And to top it all off, like Ken said, nobody comes to Whistler because we’ve got a really neat driving range. Nobody… ever.

So, what happens when a bold idea and a real opportunity coincide in time and place. Odds are… nothing. The box dwellers will carry the day. The reasons the driving range should remain a driving range – tinkered with a bit so it’s not just a field of snow during the winter – will be sober and thoughtful and safe, mired in the search for brand extension instead of new direction.

Ironically, that reflects all too accurately what’s happening with the election that’s afoot. It’s in danger of becoming a soulless rerun.