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Fawcett seeks help from government Glenn Fawcett, president of Mountain World Entertainment in Whistler, is lobbying the provincial government to change its Class B license to a more accommodating liquor license designed to attract adult clientele. "We are asking for a change in classification of MW’s current Class B license to one that enables entertainment and game play within the licensed premises," Fawcett writes in his April 22 letter to Finance Minister Joy MacPhail. Specifically, Fawcett is hoping that the proposed changes to the provincial liquor laws can be amended to include a third category of licence, one that is primarily for entertainment centres like Mountain World. Provincial consultant Jo Surich has recommended B.C.’s liquor laws be revamped, including eliminating the 11 different licences currently available and replacing them with just two: one which is for establishments which serve primarily food, and one for establishments which serve primarily liquor. Fawcett is lobbying for a third category. "This (current) liquor licensing restriction has severely handicapped the viability of this tourist attraction," he writes. "Unfortunately... Mountain World’s popularity has skewed much younger than originally anticipated. Consequently, the revenue for this restricted market (less than 14 per cent of Whistler’s visitors are under 25 years of age), is not sufficient to make the business a viable concern." Fawcett goes on to point out that Mountain World, a 19,000 square-foot leading edge technology and traditional entertainment attraction, is a $5 million investment and employs 40 people, contributing some $750,000 in wages to the B.C. economy. "The potential lies in the ability for Mountain World to become a substantially more popular venue with adult visitors," Fawcett said. "The shoulder seasons of the spring and fall are the times of the year when Whistler is attempting to increase and build on its convention market. Since the convention business is primarily adult delegates, it is essential that the indoor infrastructure appeal strongly to this segment." Mountain World has until May 15 to put together a suitable proposal to at least 68 creditors in an effort to avoid bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Surich will be in Whistler on May 4 for a meeting with Whistler, Pemberton and Squamish councils. "We’ve identified some issues (with the proposed changes to regulations) and it may be with how we’re interpreting his recommendations," said Whistler Mayor Hugh O’Reilly. "We’re going to clarify things with him." Whistler RCMP, municipal staff and the Whistler Resort Association have all been invited to provide their input into the meeting with Surich. The municipality’s liquor advisory committee has not yet been established, so there will be no specific representation from that group. O’Reilly said Surich has told Whistler not to worry the deadline for input on the recommendations, an indication that the province will probably take its time in implementing changes to the liquor laws. A series of meetings are scheduled for major centres across the province to gather public input.

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