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retail real

While real estate prices continue to climb many retailers and restaurateurs in the village have been heard to complain that business is not good enoughto keep paying landlords the $50-$70 a square foot they now demand for leased space. However, Whistler’s Marketplace recently issued a press release stating: "On the heels of recent criticism of over development in Whistler nad the plight of Village North retailers, Whistler’s Marketplace continues to report tremendous retail growth and numerous retail success stories." Marketplace merchants posted a 30 per cent increase in sales in 1995 and continued increases this year. They also benefit from having the largest parking lot in the village, as well as some anchor tenants like Canada Post, a liquor store and IGA. While most observors feel there will be some retail failures over the next 18 months or so while the resort adjusts to the recent growth in retail space, Drew Meredith, president of the Whistler Real Estate Company, says, "My feeling is we probably now have the critical mass to become a destination shopping area." Meredith notes that 70,000 square feet of retail space was leased last year, which required tenants to put up substantial money. Even though some retailers are complaining business is not what they expected, Meredith says there are still people lined up take retail space if it becomes available.