If you thought your 2013/14 Spirit Pass was only good for the winter season, think again, as the Whistler Chamber of Commerce has extended the program into the summer for the second year with more benefits than ever.
"Really what we want people to know is your Spirit Pass isn't just good for when it's cold out, it's good for when it gets hot too," said Chamber CEO Val Litwin.
The Spirit Program was designed to ensure Whistler business owners and employees gain the right training to understand the resort's service philosophy and deliver exceptional customer experiences. The program is open to employees of any business in Whistler or Pemberton in good standing with the Chamber, who become eligible to access a wide range of discounted activities and benefits after attending a qualifying event that offers resort-specific customer service information.
The resort businesses and service providers offering discounts to eligible Spirit program participants this summer are: Canadian Wilderness Adventures, Meadow Park Sports Centre, Scandinave Spa, Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre, TAG Adventure Group, Whistler Blackcomb, Whistler Eco Tours, Whistler Golf Club, Whistler Museum, Whistler Racquet Club, Yogacara and Ziptrek.
Current Spirit Pass holders also have free access to unlimited summer hiking and sightseeing on the mountain as well as the entire Peak 2 Peak Alpine Experience until Oct. 13.
"There's some brilliant range to these benefits," Litwin said "We wanted to be able to deliver more value and have that Spirit Pass mean more for people. This is an awesome opportunity for us to really feature other businesses in the community doing phenomenal things."
While qualifying events for the 2013/14 Spirit season are complete, all new program participants have to do is watch a 45-minute online customer service tutorial with legendary pro skier Mike Douglas to be eligible for their Spirit Pass.
"It's like a blockbuster film; It's funny, it'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry — and it tells you all you need to know about Whistler and how to deliver customer experiences here," Litwin explained.
Getting to access a plethora of cheap activities and services is not only a perk of the summer Spirit program, but a great way for newcomers to get to know their community, Litwin noted.
"The whole idea is that this is good for our Spirit program participants because it makes their life more enjoyable while they're up here," he said. "But also, the more they know about the resort the better they can be at delivering service to guests."
As the Spirit program evolves, Litwin said that along with added benefits, pass holders can expect to see more quality training courses offered, with the announcement of a "big partnership" coming before the New Year.
"We're looking at phenomenal content options for next year. This is the kind of stuff you'll want to put on your resume even when you go back to Australia or the U.K.," he said. "People are going to be proud of this program and it's going to be something that's really going to add value to someone's CV and will help them in their career."
Those eligible can visit www.whistlerchamber.com to view all the program's benefits. Simply present your Spirit number, which will remain active until September 30, and photo ID to the business you wish to access your benefits from.
The Whistler Chamber of Commerce is also accepting nominations at its website until May 9 for the third annual Whistler Excellence Awards, scheduled for June 26 at the Fairmont.