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RCG partners with Whistler Networks


Where else to think of looking for Internet information on Whistler but

The URL, owned by Whistler Networks, is reported to be the resort’s busiest, attracting 2.3 million user sessions annually. It has now been brought under the wing of the Resort Communications Group in a joint venture between the two companies that will see the site overhauled.

The goal is to become Whistler’s key Internet portal, offering everything that the resort has to sell.

"This is a very exciting time for both companies," said Bruce Woodward of Whistler Networks. "It’s an ideal union – Whistler Networks provides the back-end technology and the URL and RCG provides the marketing and strategic expertise to really connect to the consumer."

The new-look site will reach consumers in three ways: through the URL, a reservations centre and, once they arrive in Whistler, through an in-resort TV channel, TV.

RCG’s Doug Perry said the new partnership complements RCG’s mandate to drive incremental traffic to the resort. "Our goal is to capitalize upon new technology to develop and its related properties to ensure Whistler resort remains an innovative leader in the industry."

The Web site will provide consumers with the ability to make real-time bookings online for everything from accommodation to ski rentals to limo services from the airport.

RCG director of strategic planning, John Rae, said an integrated marketing plan has been created to support three stages of the Web site re-vamp.

Phase one went live Nov. 30 with new content and design.

Phase two will introduce real-time, online booking capabilities supported by a bricks and mortar reservations centre. This should be completed by June 2001.

Phase three will consist of marketing the site throughout Cascadia and North America, said Rae.

After booking a vacation online or through the reservations centre, guests can tune in to TV when they reach the resort. The television component will showcase the activities Whistler offers.

Ultimately, the TV will run on RCG’s new digital specialty channel allowing consumers to book activities with the click of a mouse while watching Whistler TV. In the meantime, the channel will be viewed on Whistler Cable’s channel 19, starting mid-December.

"The development of will provide a significant benefit to Whistler resort," said RCG’s Don McQuaid.

"By providing successful, enjoyable, one-stop shopping from the moment consumers log onto the site, we will be able to sell Whistler more effectively, to capture the 2.3 million users and convert them into resort visitors."