A lawsuit stemming from a 2013 fire in the Tyndall Stone Lodge building in Whistler Village has reached a confidential settlement.
"The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) cannot comment on the specific details of the settlement. All parties to the claim attended a confidential mediation to resolve the matter and a settlement was successfully negotiated between the plaintiffs and all defendants. The Municipal Insurance Association of BC (MIABC) handled the claim," reads an emailed statement from the RMOW communications department.
"This matter is an insured loss that is entirely managed by the MIABC. Financial exposure to the municipality is limited to the RMOW's per claim deductible of $25,000."
Asked to clarify how many claims are involved, or the total financial impact to the municipal budget, the RMOW said it "cannot comment on legal proceedings."
Read more about the 2013 fire and the resulting lawsuits online at www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/rmow-braces-for-more-legal-woes-from-tyndall-stone-fire-fallout/Content?oid=2742082.
STRANDED VISITOR CALLS FOR EMERGENCY SHELTER
A woman who was stranded in Whistler after the highway was closed due to a fatal accident on Jan. 2 said the resort needs to seriously consider offering emergency accommodations in certain situations.
Serena McLuskie wrote to council detailing her experience, which included a $500 hotel bill she couldn't afford, in a letter dated Jan. 9.
"I want to stress that we exhausted literally every option possible — Craigslist, Facebook, CouchSharing, hostels, motels — and nothing was available," McLuskie wrote.
"Do the right thing; have options for everyone."
Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden said she understands the frustration, but she's hard pressed to respond to the request for emergency shelter.
"We are very sympathetic to her plight and the plight of everybody else who was caught up in that road closure arising from that terrible tragic accident, and of course some people lost their lives in that accident, so it truly was a horrible event," Wilhelm-Morden said.
But with the highway being closed for seven hours, there were likely many people who were inconvenienced.
"I'm sure there were other people who probably missed work, they may have missed connecting air flights, and the municipality can't be responsible for that. Where does that responsibility end, I suppose is the question," Wilhelm-Morden said.
It's one of the reasons the RMOW has been working to shorten road closures, she added.
From the perspective of the local hotels, managers have the authority to offer reduced rates in these situations on a case-by-case basis, said Hotel Association of Whistler chair Saad Hasan.
"It is certainly not about, 'hey look, there's been an accident, let's make some money off of it,'" Hasan said.
"One of my colleagues was saying that if something like this happens and they know that someone is in distress... then they have every authority to sell the room and offer a discount as well because of the situation.
"The hotels don't necessarily want to have an empty room."
If booking online, or speaking with someone at a call centre not located in Whistler, they're likely not aware of the circumstances on the highway, Hasan added.
"So the only way someone could make that call would be if the call came to the front desk, and the front desk was aware that there has been an accident and the highway is closed," he said. "So it will have to be on a case-by-case basis and based on availability as well."