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New Year reflections from Whistler

A roundtable Q&A with some notable locals



With 2017 in the rear-view mirror, Pique checked in with some prominent Whistlerites to see how it went, and what may be in store for the year ahead.

PIQUE Looking back on 2017, what kind of year was it? What was your highlight?

MAYOR NANCY WILHELM-MORDEN: "It was an interesting year. We had fantastic weather in the winter and the summer, but the winter kind of went on too long, and people started getting kind of cranky by the end, and in the summer it was hot and dry and beautiful, what you want for sure, but we dodged a bit of a wildfire bullet there, I think.

(Also), it wasn't a highlight — it was very much a lowlight — and that was the death of Andrée Janyk."

WHISTLER BLACKCOMB COO PETE SONNTAG: "2017 was a year of change — for me, for my family, for our company and for Whistler Blackcomb. My highlight was being asked to lead the greatest ski resort in the world. For someone who started in the ski business as a rental tech at 19 years old I could not be more humbled to be here."

FILMMAKER MIKE DOUGLAS: "Aside from the depressing deluge of the global news stream, it was quite good for me and my family. I was lucky enough to check off a couple of bucket-list items, but the highlight was probably landing a D Spin at 47 years old."

To see the significance of that go to

PIQUE COLUMNIST FEET BANKS: "2017 was challenging on a personal level. Lots of opportunities to learn and grow, and lots of good times too (even the shittiest year in this area can't help but have some awesome parts). One highlight was hiking the Howe Sound Crest trail with my seven-year-old son. It's a 30-kilometre ridge-top trail from Mt. Seymour to Porteau, the first half is pretty gruelling but some amazing views from up there. Always incredible to get a new perspective on our home terrain, and show the next generation how lucky we are here."

OLYMPICS-BOUND LUGER REID WATTS: "2017 was a big learning year for me as an athlete. It gave me lots of chances to progress as an athlete and got to top it off with my Olympic Games qualifier."

PIQUE: What are your predictions for Whistler in 2018?

NWM: "I think we might see a bit of a slowdown — some of the economic indicators are such that things may slow down a little bit, and I'm confident that we will get a very good grip on the housing and transportation issues."

PS: "Our community of smart, passionate and like-minded people will continue to tackle head on the challenges we face — challenges that are a direct result of the prosperous period we find ourselves in. WB's investment in the mountain will help ensure our economy stays strong."

MD: "I think Whistler will continue to struggle with crowding, affordability issues and the new elephant in town, but the community is strong and will weather any difficulties ahead. The snow will come and the people will be happy."

FB: "When I moved to Whistler there was one stoplight at the village and a blinking yellow one at Creekside. So much has changed, but also, lots has not. My predictions for 2018 are easy: Housing issues, bear problems, and the Whistler 2018 Facebook page will continue to infuriate anyone who truly loves it here."

RW: "I think Whistler's gonna be the same great Whistler it always is in 2018. Hopefully with lots of snow in the new year!"

PIQUE: What are your personal New Year's Resolutions?

NWM: "Well I actually don't make resolutions, but if I was going to, I would resolve never to use the 'BBDT' phrase again." (Standing for "brown bagging day trippers," Wilhelm-Morden is referring to a controversial comment she made in a CBC interview this fall about day visitors from the Lower Mainland who don't spend a lot of money in the resort and sometimes leave trash behind: "We don't necessarily want people who are coming up for a day, packing a bag with their lunch in it, and not really appreciating the mountain culture that we have," she said in the October interview.)

PS "I don't make New Year's resolutions. I try to live a healthy and full life, and I have a greater sense of purpose than ever — to bring out the very best in those around me, to be a great dad and a great husband."

MD: "I've never been big on New Year's Resolutions, but after my experience of searching for the fountain of youth in Japan last year, I will definitely be setting a few fitness goals this week. Most likely to do with ski touring and mountain biking."

FB: "Usually I just kind of go with the flow, the resolutions always seem a bit doomed to fail, or else create anxiety.

RW: "My New Year's resolution is to learn from my past races and be as ready as possible for the 2018 Olympics and other following races."