Work on Mountain World, the location-based entertainment centre in the basement of the conference centre, will begin May 1 and the centre is scheduled to celebrate its grand opening during November’s World Cup race. Glenn Fawcett, a former marketing director for Intrawest Resort and Club, has been working on the Mountain World concept for the past few years. This week he announced that he has secured the $2.5 million in financing needed to make the project a reality. Mountain World will include interactive entertainment, including virtual reality golf, hang gliding, a F18 fighter jet simulator, ski and snowboard simulators, Indy car race simulators and motocross simulators. There will also be pool tables, shuffleboard, a climbing wall, an Internet cafe, a media wall and a licensed restaurant. Fawcett says the premise behind Mountain World was to offer rainy day and shoulder season activities for all ages. Mountain World will be open from noon to 2 a.m. weekdays and from noon to 3 a.m. weekends, but is intended as family entertainment, an alternative to bars. It will also be available for conventions and private parties. The concept behind location-based entertainment centres is to include enough variety to draw repeat business. Disney, Sega and Blockbuster Video are all building location-based entertainment centres, according to Fawcett. The interactive games will be leased rather than owned, so they will be replaced with new games as technology improves or a game becomes unpopular. Fawcett has agreements with Delta Hotels to provide food and beverage service, America Online to provide Internet service, Sony for media technology, Cliffhanger for the climbing wall and the Winfield Group, which handles Sega and other games. Fawcett says Mountain World will contribute $285,000 annually in lease payments to the Whistler Resort Association for the space now occupied by the Dual Mountain Programs and the unfinished squash courts under the conference centre. Mountain World will also pay $20,000 annually in WRA fees. A publicly traded company, long-term plans for Mountain World are to take the location-based entertainment centre concept to other mountain resorts across North America.