On the same day the Peak Chair opened and Whistler Heli-Skiing
made its first official flights of the season, Whistler-Blackcomb held its
second annual open house.
Skiers and boarders clad in winter gear milled around Legends’
conference room Saturday afternoon, circulating between tables promoting
various departments and initiatives — Marketing, Food & Beverage,
Playground, Peak to Peak Gondola, and Ski & Snowboard School.
Donna Savage was on-hand distributing information about the
RMOW’s Whistler Volunteer HomeStay Host Program. Hundreds of volunteers are
expected to pour into town to help with the Pontiac GMC Canadian Championships
and the Telus-sponsored Whistler World Cup in February, and they’ll need places
Savage says most volunteers are paying their own way, so the
municipality is looking for about 200 free beds to help ease the financial
burden of helping with the events. So far, they have secured about 25 beds.
Savage also points out the events will be a test of
preparedness for the Olympic Games, so it’s important for the community to step
up and help ensure the championships and the World Cup are a success.
Local residents who have a bedroom available for at least four
nights between Jan. 30 and Feb. 26 are asked to fill out an application form at
Whistler-Blackcomb profiled old and new environmental projects
The company recently switched to using 30 per cent recycled
paper and 100 per cent recycled tissues, and now have marketing material
guidelines for recycled content and using vegetable-based inks.
Standard bulbs on one of their main lightboards have been
replaced with LED bulbs. A staff member explained this was a challenging
switch, as the light emitted from most LED bulbs can only be seen head-on.
Whistler-Blackcomb finally found a Vancouver-based company that
could provide suitable bulbs, and is testing them out on one board, in hopes
that they can reduce energy output by up to 90 per cent.
A new bike tire, tube and light bulb recycling program has also
been introduced, and the company has increased reusable mugs and degradable
plastic bags in its retail stores.
Peak to Peak
Though construction of the highly-anticipated Peak to Peak
gondola was halted for the winter on Nov. 9, the construction crew is eager to
get back to work, and was on-hand Saturday to present building design plans to
the public for the first time.
Illustrations showed the new 13,500 square foot terminal
building, which will house 28 28-passenger gondola cabins, and a slideshow of
construction progress played on two televisions. Samples of the 1¼-inch
diameter haul rope and track cables were also on display.
John Morley, Barb Houghton and Wayne Witse fielded questions on
the progress of the gondola, explaining that foundations for all four towers
and the terminal buildings are now in place, and construction will start again
in 17 weeks.
They anticipate that there will be more visible changes during
construction next year. The gondola is scheduled to be finished by next
The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation provides financial support to
local organizations that benefit residents of the Sea to Sky corridor through
health, human services, education, recreation, arts and culture, or environmental
Hailey Guille, WB Foundation representative, explained they
host two major sports-related fundraisers each year — the Telus Winter
Classic and the Telus Mountain Valley Golf Classic.
The Telus Winter Classic, which will be held on Jan. 25 and 26,
includes ski races, wine and cheese tastings, and a mountain-top gala. The
theme for this winter’s Telus Winter Classic gala is Elements of B.C. A Rod
Charlesworth painting will be among the auction items.
The Foundation also has the Founder’s Pass Program, which
provides over $275,000 in funds each year.