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The Best of Whistler 2000

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The people have voted, the votes have been counted, the appeals have been heard and the judges have ruled.

George W. Bush did not win this year’s Best of Whistler contest. Neither did Al Gore. But we now know where they should go for oysters, or to get their bike fixed, or to hear what people are saying about them.

QUINTESSENTIAL WHISTLER

Place to hear gossip

It’s not called village chat for nothing – Whistler thrives on parochial prattle and the prime places to steal savoury snippets of small town trivia range from the traditional women’s washrooms, hair salons and places of work to lift lines, gondolas and staff housing.

But, for the year 2000, the number-one place to hear chit-chat was Citta’ followed by bus shelters and locals’ locales: the Cookie Co. and Tapley’s. Sadly, the town will talk no more at the Cookie Co.

Public place to be during a blizzard

Shelter is apparently not what most Whistlerites are after in a white-out. Granted, there were votes for cozy corners in pubs and coffee shops but the vote for the best place to be in a blizzard goes to various areas of exposed mountain terrain. The second most popular choice was the Crystal Hut followed by the Cinnamon Bear.

The Chateau’s Mallard Lounge garnered several mentions as did the Whistler Public Library and the Meadow Park Sports Centre.

Place to spend the last $10 in your savings account

The liquor store is where most would chose to scrape the bottom of the savings barrel. Next in line is The Boot on Mondays, the day locals can get their booze at value.

It was the Golden Arches in the Marketplace, however, that earned third spot as the best place to eke out the last of hard-won pennies.

Most extreme Whistler thing to do

If extreme implies facing up to a challenge with guts, then finding accommodation in the resort certainly qualifies. Looking for housing was voted as the most burly of Whistler activities, followed by heli-skiing and trying to save money.

Vying for third place were a variety of risky activities, all with sexual undertones. Engaging in unprotected sex had the edge on skiing naked as an extreme pastime. Also considered daring were dating anyone, dating city girls and, okay, this may be more desperate than extreme, dancing topless at Tapley's.

Best use of public money

There was some confusion in this category. Either that or some of the projects nominated for best use of public money were also picked by others as being examples of the worst use of common cash.

The Valley Trail system won hands down as the best use of taxpayers’ money, followed by the skate park, affordable housing and transit – especially the new buses to Pemberton.

Worst use of public money

Once again, the fountain and the "fake stream" that runs throug the village past the Brew House earned top spot, along with varieties on this theme, including the water feature near Starbucks, even though it was built with private money.

Millennium Place, still soaking up cash, earned second vote for waste of "public" funds, followed by the skate park and re-paving the village.

Also listed as a bad use of taxpayers’ cash were the dollars spent on repairing the gates in White Gold and Blueberry.

And, it may not be public cash, but the renovation at Nesters received honorable mention.

Oasis of serenity

The luxurious tranquillity of the Spa at the Chateau Whistler was voted as the choice for soothing away the wrinkles of resort life. The mountain-top earned second spot and there was no clear consensus for third. Choices ranged from the backcountry and the Ancient Cedars to the top of Secret Trail, the skate park and Lost Lake (must be talking shoulder season here).

Replacement mayor

Well, the inimitable G.D. Maxwell, voted the most favoured replacement mayor in 1999, has been edged off the podium for the year 2000. Is this a sign the populace has come to its senses? Ron – Hoz – Hosner was the pick for replacement mayor this time around. Chalky is choice for number two with AWARE’s Stephane Perron in third position. Then followed an eclectic pod including Guitar Doug, Dave Kirk, Ross Rebagliati, "anyone who will get rid of the gates," Doug Perry, Rob Boyd and Marie-Ann Prevost.

Whistler trend

It was uncertain whether readers were identifying the best Whistler trend or the most predominant trend of the year 2000 but the most votes went to skate clothing. This was followed by the lack of housing and locals leaving town (hardly the "best" trends) and less reliance on vehicles (really?).

Worst Whistler trend

It was variations on "those damn silver scooters" and a delinquent and mushrooming dog population that rankled residents as being the most annoying of local bents this year. And, showing a darker side of the resort, the other worst Whistler trend identified this year was a penchant for cocaine and a preponderance of "coke sluts."

Other annoying fashions highlighted were continued littering, rising rents, SUV drivers, hippies, re-naming places after Olympic gold medallists, couch surfing and NIMBYism.

Party of 2000

The mother of all Millennium bashes was apparently at George’s place in Creekside. George’s party edged out Dusty’s Last Stand – the hangover of which will be felt for 10 days in January when the new Dusty’s will be closed under order of the B.C. liquor police for infractions at the farewell event.

Other events earning an honorable mention for 2000 include Shine – the off then on again rave at AlpenRock – Snowball, the Tea Party at the conference centre, the Mouton Cadet Spring Festival and Halloween at Tapley’s Farm and Merlin’s.

Best new business

Ahh … what a gooey bunch … The Love Nest has been voted the favourite new venture in town. Next up also says something. The Re-Use It Centre is the second most popular new business in Whistler. Other worthy mentions included the Internet Café, the Westin, Pasta Lupino, the creperie, Chick Pea, the new-look Millar Creek Café, Whistler Freeride – a new snowmobiling operation in the Callaghan with ties to Mad River Nordic – and, of childhood fantasies, the Great Glass Elevator.

Best hotel lobby to hang out in

The Chateau Whistler eked out ahead of the Delta, only just. The new Westin lobby earned second position as an ideal luxury loitering spot, followed by the Crystal Lodge and Pan Pacific.

Secret about Whistler

Okay, it wouldn’t be a secret if you did tell… and, apart from Emerald Lake, no one really ‘fessed up. We tried. Comments ranged from, "I’m not telling" to "As if I’d tell you," and "Why would I tell?"

The secret is safe.

Oh, someone did say the hidden fact about Whistler is how many tourists do in fact go missing.

Rumour of 2000

The number one rumour this year was apparently that there would be staff housing. Number two was there would be a Y2K meltdown.

And number three was there would be pay parking. Other intelligence ranged from talk that the Nordic bridge was collapsing to the assertion that Bill Gates had bought Akasha, or had bought something big somewhere in town.

Thing that never happened

General consensus here – Y2K never happened. Staff housing never materialized and neither did pay parking. And, the mountains did not open early.

Sales pitch

"They’re waterproof!"

That was the sales pitch that got the most votes. It says something about our Coast Mountain climate.

The pitches submitted were across the board but is seems residents feel that the one about locals "discounts" and "deals" is getting a little tired and frayed around the edges.

Of course there was the perennial "Number One" in North America line and the newer, "There’s something about Whistler."

Also receiving honorable mentions were variations on, "this is the best s–t you’ll ever smoke" and "you look rad!"

And, "the Kicking Horse crusade" did not go unnoticed locally either.

Gift or present that says "Whistler"

Oh that’s hard… fleece, fleece and more fleece wins as the item that practically oooozes "Whistler." Logo wear was voted second and includes everything from hoodies to T-shirts and sweatshirts emblazoned with trademarks that bring the resort or its lifestyle to mind.

A season’s pass came in third, but perhaps that was more wishful thinking on some people’s part. A Camelbak got a few mentions as being a cadeau that cries Whistler as did "a toque eh" and "fat one" or a Greg Griffith photo.

Or, as one scrooge put it, "anything cheaply made but expensive."

Place in Whistler least like Whistler

AlpenRock wins here. Well, it does profess to trying to emulate something in Zurich. Function Junction gets runner up status – as it did last year – and for the year 2000, McDonald’s takes the bronze. The village, again, got a mention as being a place least like Whistler. So did Pemberton but, for those who haven’t noticed, it’s not in Whistler, yet.

Place to take visitors

The top of the mountains, the top of Whistler Mountain, the top of Blackcomb Mountain and various venues on the mountain tops are where Whistlerites like to take their guests. No debate there.

Next best on the voters’ list were the Ancient Cedars and Brandywine Falls.

Mountain view

This category was taken to mean both the best place on the mountains to take in the view as well as the best place to view the mountains. The top vote, and technically it really was too close to call, went to the top of Black Tusk (especially at full moon). Runners up were Rainbow Mountain and Sproatt, followed by 7th Heaven. Some other favorite places to look at the mountains were Blueberry Hill and the West Side Road.

Place for people watching

No contest, summer or winter, the heart of the old village is still the best place to settle back and observe humanity. Again, Citta possesses the patio of choice for people watching. The neighbouring Amsterdam Café and Araxi patios are the runners up.

Place to walk your dog

Two readers summed up the submissions: "everywhere" and "anywhere". But by far the most popular place for walkies is the Valley Trail. Next up is the trails at Lost Lake Park, followed by the village. Other doggie-owner haunts include the Interpretive Forest and its Riverside Trail, the Emerald Forest, Rainbow Park and Meadow Park.

Favourite Whistlerite

The late Seppo Makinen, who left us just after last year’s survey was completed, takes the gold.

The Hare slipped into second place (Rabbit triumphed here last year) and Guitar Doug’s fan club has placed him third, edging out Greg Stump.

Roger (of Roger’s Chocolates) received honorable mention as did Ben Horne – who was tagged as a philanthropist – and Beagle bartender Greg Pomalchuck.

FOOD AND DRINK

Best Restaurant

The Best Restaurant category is about as subjective as any "Best of" category can be, with so many variables to take into consideration including price, service, food, location, ambience, staff, elbow room and napkin availability. The gold standard we recommend using is to pretend you went on a crime spree in the great State of Texas and were summarily sentenced to death – what restaurant would you order your last meal from? Others may have slightly different criteria, or this being Canada in an election year, a hidden agenda. Whatever methodology was used to reach this momentous decision, this year’s Best Restaurant was Uli’s Flipside, which edged out reigning champion Sushi Village by a handful of votes. Las Margaritas was a close third, followed by Quattro and Sushi Ya.

Best Restaurant When Someone Else Pays

Everybody should have a rich uncle who visits them in Whistler every once in a while, if only to pick up the tab at all the fine restaurants that make this truly a world-class resort. La Rúa earned the most votes in this category, followed by Bearfoot Bistro, Hy’s, the Rim Rock and Araxi.

Best Value

Somewhere between the intangibles of quality, quantity and price is a sweet spot we call "Best Value", or alternately "The Biggest Bang For Your Buck". Any restaurant that is big on customers and easy on the wallet deserves to be recognized – without you, locals would never leave the house. This year the top honour goes to Las Margaritas, followed by Uli’s Flipside , Sushi Village, Milestones, and McDonald’s.

Best New Restaurant

Pasta Lupino, the little Italian restaurant that could, won this category, followed by new newcomer Tex Corleone’s. Milestones also received a fair share of the votes.

Best Wine List

This is a hard category to choose, as there is probably enough fine wine stored in cellars around Whistler to fill Emerald Lake. Bearfoot Bistro won this category for the second year in a row, and we hear that they’re so pleased that they’re ripping down the plaque certifying their recent three-star rating from the prestigious "Where To Eat In Canada 2000" guide to make room for an equally prestigious Pique sticker. Araxi, like Al Gore, lost by a handful of ballots, even after a recount and a heated debate about hanging chads. Umberto’s finished third in the contest.

Best Atmosphere

The Bearfoot Bistro won this category – grand piano, body paint, leather chairs and all. Araxi was second, followed by Uli’s Flipside, the Rim Rock and Quattro. Just wait until Chuck E. Cheese comes to town – no amount of fancy décor or jazz music can compete with an animatronic jug band and ball room.

Best Pizza

This topic is always one of the most hotly debated, usually at 2 a.m. when Whistler’s best and brightest come down with an attack of the munchies. Avalanche Pizza, the new kid on the block, won the debate. Misty’s Gourmet Pizza was second, followed by Boston Pizza, the BrewHouse, Citta, and Caramba.

Best Place for Scotch

It’s an acquired taste (or at least the people who pretend to like it say it is) but a day on the hill is not complete for some folks without a tumbler of high quality blended or single-malted Scotch… the eyes go blurry just thinking about it. The winner, for the second year in a row, is Black’s Pub, which has a veritable arsenal of the stuff at its disposal, lined against the wall with the elegant menace of a gun rack. Dubh Linn Gate is a close second in this category, followed by the Mallard Lounge.

Best Place for Cigars

If Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fidel Castro and Bill Clinton were in Whistler right now, you might find them puffing on stogies and talking politics and women in the cigar lounge of the Bearfoot Bistro, the winner of this most prestigious category. The Mallard Lounge also made the list, as did the Vancouver Cigar Co. and Whistler Cigar Co.

Best Place for Steaks

Where’s the beef? It’s a question that has plagued man and little old ladies since the mid 1980s. According to Pique readers the beef is at Hy’s Steakhouse for the second year running. The Keg is a close second, followed by the Rim Rock(?!) and the Creekside Grillroom.

Best Oysters

Legend has it that legendary ladies’ man Giacomo Cassanova used to derive his sexual prowess by starting each day in the tub with a glass of champagne and a couple dozen raw oysters. They are in fact packed with zinc, an important ingredient for your body to manufacture testosterone, a key sexual hormone in both men and women. If you’ve ever seen a picture of the slovenly Giacomo, you have to assume that he had some kind of ace up his sleeve. Whether this helps you out or not, the Rim Rock won this category, followed by the Crab Shack.

Best Burger

Give yourself a patty on the back, Splitz. Once again, you owned this category by both the popular and electoral college votes. No one else even came close.

Best Desserts

Whether you like chocolate or cheesecake, or chocolate cheesecake with a side of chocolate ice cream, the place to go to appease that aching sweet tooth is once again Death by Chocolate. Splitz is second, followed by La Brasserie, Milestones and Thai One On.

Best Vegetarian Fare

If you’re one of the millions of Canadians who has endured the ridicule of friends and family to become a vegetarian, Whistler is a good place to hide out until the heat blows over. Many local establishments cater to this new age abnormality with a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan alternatives to choose from. Vitality 4U won this category, followed by the now defunct Deserts, the Mongolie Grill and Thai One On.

Best Takeout

Whistler has something like 28,000 licensed restaurant and bar seats, and on many nights during the high season, there’s a butt on every single one of them. Whether you hate to wait in line for a table, prefer to hang out at home, or are so busy you live, work and eat on the run, Whistler’s takeout places make sure you will never go hungry again. This year the winner of Best Takeout is Sushi Ya, followed by Splitz, Sushi Village, Ingrid’s, and The Pita Pit.

Best Breakfast/Brunch

When you live in the foothills of the biggest mountain playground in North America, every day is a big day, and what better way to start a big day in the playground than a big breakfast/brunch? The Southside Deli wins this category, sunny side up, while La Brasserie, Gaitors, Millar Creek Café and The Crab Shack all receive an honourable mention.

Best Latte

Holy cow I can’t believe it but I think that The Second Cup coffee shop won the Best Latte category this year, year 2000, because they got the most votes for making the best Latte in the village with their tasty beans and foamy milk and all kinds of delicious and highly caffeinated varieties to choose from… (Breathe) ….Of course they’re not the only Latte maker in town, no sir, not by a long mile, because we also received votes for Behind the Grind, the Whistler Cookie Co. which unfortunately doesn’t seem to be there anymore, Moguls which is under new ownership these days, and Blenz, and it’s a good thing too that all these places make a good Latte, because sometimes we all need a little pick me up to help us get going now and then because there’s so much to–

Best Beer Selection

A bartender at the Dubh Linn Gate should feel right at home operating a heavy crane or a wrecking ball – in both environments there are dozens of levers to pull and every single one of them does something a little bit different. That’s why Pique readers handed Dubh Linn Gate this category by a landslide for the second year running. Black’s also deserves a mention with a formidable list of lagers and ales to choose from and a respectable number of votes to their credit.

Best Service

A lot of people don’t appreciate what it takes to be a good server. A nice smile helps but if you can’t carry a conversation, uncork a bottle of wine without looking like your doing an Olympic clean and jerk, serve a bowl of soup without sticking your thumb into the broth, or work in and around people in such a way that they never accuse you of invading their private space, a nice smile isn’t going to go too far. Good timing is also an asset, as is the ability to tap dance and talk your way around difficult situations, which happen more than you would ever believe. That’s why the servers at the Bearfoot Bistro should take pride in the fact that Pique readers have voted them to be the best of the best. Other top picks include La Rúa, Quattro, Citta, Uli’s Flipside and Las Margaritas.

Best Signature Dish

If you’ve never experienced the lamb at Rim Rock, the fondue at Joel’s or "everything" at Sushi Village, then you’ve never experienced the ultimate in dining – when a chef nails a dish to the extent that people refer to it as a signature dish, it’s akin to Babe Ruth calling his shots or Picasso owning the colour blue – in other words, it’s a one of a kind.

Best Chef

Chef Bernard Casavant, or "Cheffie" to his friends, is practically a legend in these parts, trading a position as the executive chef at one of Whistler’s most exclusive hotels for a chance to run his own grass roots restaurant. Once again, the voters have spoken – You’re the man, Cheffie! Rob Parrott of Quattro and Ron Lammie of the Trattoria also received a fair share of the votes.

Best Waiter

It seems that Whistlerites are great with faces, but terrible with names. The only remotely intelligible response we got was "Fontaine" who apparently works somewhere in the resort. When we figure out who he is, and where he’s doing the Best Waiting in Whistler, we’ll get back to you.

Best Caterer

The nod, once again, goes to Chef Bernard, the man with the pan. Market Catering was a close second.

CLUBS, PUBS & BARS

Best DJ

It’s a scene all right, and, judging by the number of different responses we received, Whistler is into it. DJ Czech, the man from Prague, was the spin doctor with the best medicine for the greatest number of voters. DJ Seanski, DJ Spin Cat, DJ Stoli, and DJ Peace Frog also got their share of props.

Best Bartender

Dave Paul of Citta is the mixologist of choice for Pique voters, equally proficient at pulling pints of lager and making Caesar’s that knock the wind out of you. Chris at Moe Joe’s is second, followed by Jack at Zeuski’s and Andy at Moe Joe’s.

Best Place To See A Live Act

If you’ve never been to The Boot to see a live act, then you haven’t lived in Whistler. From punk bands on local’s nights to the regular rotation of local and travelling acts, The Boot offers something for everyone – even a Ballet recital four times a week. It’s no surprise then that The Boot won this category almost unanimously. DJ-friendly Maxx Fish and the always eclectic Garfinkel’s also registered on the voting list.

Best Place To Be Seen

For a small town, it’s unbelievable how rarely you happen to bump into friends in the street. By hanging out at certain key local establishments, however, you seem to improve your chances of being seen by a considerable margin. Citta, strategically located at a four-way intersection in the pedestrian village, was the hands-down winner of this category, followed by local watering holes Maxx Fish, The Boot, Moe Joe’s, and the Amsterdam.

Best Sound System

In Whistler, there are sound systems that are subtle, sound systems that aren’t quite as subtle, and sound systems with enough power to rattle your teeth out and liquify your bowels (thankfully never used). For bass you can taste, the winner for Best Sound System is Maxx Fish, followed by The Savage Beagle, Buffalo Bill’s and Citta.

Place That Feels Like Home

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name – and they’re always glad you came. With home being thousands of miles away for a lot of Whistlerites, landing in an environment where you can kick back and feel like you own the place is almost as important as putting a roof over your head. Moe Joe’s was voted the homiest night spot, followed by the Amsterdam, Citta, The Savage Beagle and the Cinnamon Bear. Feel free to pull up a stool and tell the bartender all about your day.

Coolest Staff

Technically, this category isn’t so much a ‘Best of’ category as it is a popularity contest – who’s the friendliest, the easiest going, the easiest to talk to, and the most sincere. It’s rare to find a person with all these qualities and rarer still to find these qualities in an entire staff. The Longhorn Saloon staff took the top honours this year, beating out the incumbent Health Care Centre. Citta was a close second, and Merlin’s a close third.

Best Apres Ski Bar

After a day torturing all those little stabilizer muscles you forgot you even had, going for a liquid "apres ski" muscle relaxant makes a lot of sense. It’s also a good way to meet up with friends to compare runs, crashes, and incidences of toque-head. The Longhorn Saloon provides this service in spades, winning this category by a respectable margin. Citta was second, followed by the Amsterdam, and Merlin’s.

Best Patio

Citta, with a raised patio that soaks up the afternoon sunshine and provides a venue for some first-rate people watching, wins this category. The Longhorn Saloon was second, Merlin’s was third and Dusty’s was fourth.

Best Place To Shoot Some Stick

If playing pool is your thing – and judging by the number of tables in town it’s somebody’s thing – then you should know that the Cinnamon Bear was voted the best place in town to shoot a game. The AlpenRock, which has more tables than any four bars combined, was second by a couple of votes. The Longhorn Saloon and Dusty’s round out the list.

MEDIA, ARTS & CULTURE

Best Bookstore

The limited availability of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire aside, Armchair Books is the bookstore of choice for an overwhelming number of Pique voters. Bestsellers was second, followed by the library and the Re-Use-It Centre.

Best Local Band/Musician

Pete and Chad win hands down as Whistler’s favourite performers, packing the people in tighter than some local landlords. Patio lizard Guitar Doug came in second, and Slow Nerve Action was third.

Best Local Artist

Mushroom Mark is Whistler’s favourite artisan, followed by Karen Thirlwall, and Toad Hall Pete.

Best Local Writer

The Pique’s G.D. Maxwell, never one to mince words or back down from what he perceives as an outrage, has earned a literary hattrick by winning this award for the third time in as many years. He has vowed to try harder next year, mincing fewer words than ever before. Virtually every other writer and reporter in town received a few nods, with the Pique’s Loreth Beswetherick receiving a few extra nods here and there.

Best Event Of The Season

Take a crowd of 15,000 people, speaker towers with go-go girls, a 10-foot tall alien that shoots sparks out of his hands, a girl in a bikini with a flame thrower, and a couple of DJ’s and you have what we call a good event. When you throw in a lineup of some of the world’s greatest snowboarders, and a 10-foot takeoff ramp you have what we call a great event. The Sims Invitational Big Air contest won for Best Event by a considerable margin, beating out the popular Cornucopia food and wine festival and Dusty’s Last Stand.

Best Place For Art

What’s the point of having all these great local artists if we don’t have a venue to showcase their work? Artrageous filled the bill nicely, showcasing the best of the region in an art and sculpture exhibition. The Delta – which has a couple of galleries – also does a nice job according to voters, as does Lotus Art Supplies.

Local News Story You’re Most Sick Of

It seems that everybody has had it up to their eyeballs with stories about the local housing crisis. Well excuse us for caring! From an editorial point of view we thought that the public would appreciate stories of young resort employees driven into saunas and tool sheds, relocated to Squamish and Pemberton, and often being forced to leave town because they couldn’t find a warm, dry place to sleep. Since you’re sick of reading about the housing crisis, we’ll do our best to keep it down to one story an issue until 2,000 badly needed staff housing bed units can be made available. Other stories that got on our reader’s nerves include local Zoning Bylaws, which we admit are an acquired taste, and the 2010 Olympic Bid (which you’ll be hearing about again and again until we actually host the Winter Games).

Quote Of The Year

Whazzzzzup! (This catch phrase isn’t going to go away for a long time, so prepare yourself for more wagging tongues and incidents at local Sushi restaurants.)

How you doin’? (The number of votes this catch phrase generated alarmed the Pique staff – none of us have heard it all that much, which leads us to believe that nobody really cares how we’re doin’.)

SPORTS AND RECREATION

Best Run on Whistler or Blackcomb

You slept in, woke up to the sound of explosions, rushed to the hill, and found yourself on a chairlift watching the early-bird skiers and boarders carve up the fresh snow beneath you. Suddenly it dawns on you that you may not get as much fresh powder as you would have liked. At these trying times you have to make a hard choice – which run will it be? Obviously you go with the best. This year the best is Zig Zag on Blackcomb, followed by Kyber’s Pass and Peak to Creek on Whistler (both of which are slightly out of bounds).

Best Outdoor Sport (Besides Skiing Or Snowboarding)

Bumpy tires rule in Whistler, as mountain biking beats sex (last year’s winner) for Best Outdoor Sport. I guess it’s true what they say: bike seats do make you impotent. Cruising around on a set of cross-country or skate skis is number two, followed by snowshoeing in the winter and rafting in the spring and summer.

Indoor sport

Whistler’s favourite indoor sport is the world’s favourite indoor sport: sex. Just goes to show what an international, worldly place we are. Other favourites were sports that are usually played outside – perhaps an indication of how outdoors-oriented we are? Rock climbing was second, swimming third. Basketball and hockey also made the list.

Snowmobile tour

Some people think commercial, some people think terrain. Canadian Snowmobile Adventures topped the list, followed by "Cougar Mountain" – which might mean the terrain or it might mean Cougar Mountain At Whistler tours – and Pemberton Ice Cap.

Heli-ski run

Not a category that everyone filled in, likely because heli-skiing remains the domain of those who can afford it. That being said, Rainbow was at the top of the list. Mount Currie, which isn’t a heli-ski run, also made the cut. No mention of the Bugaboos or Sylvan Saudan’s operation in the Himalayas.

Bike Trail

A River Runs Through It, which is more a labyrinth than a single trail but which is easy to get to and everyone has heard of, was the clear choice. Given the technical level of riding required to stay upright on A River Runs Through It the trail’s popularity is a bit surprising. Perhaps it’s like skiing the Couloir Extreme: not that many people do it well but everyone wants to be able to say they’ve done it.

Secret Trail was a distant second and Trespasser was third.

Hole on a local golf course

Surprisingly few entries in this category, maybe because everyone is out riding A River Runs Through It. Or maybe it’s that all the golfers had migrated to Arizona when we ran the survey in October and November. The only hole that received more than one vote was No. 18 at Nicklaus North.

Municipal park

Rainbow Park, with its views, expanse of grass, beach, parking lot and doggy-friendly attitude topped the polls. Lost Lake was runner up.

Way to stay in shape

Whistlerites like to pedal, at least those who like to stay in shape. Biking was the number one choice. Sex (see favourite indoor sport) was number two but there was no indication whether Whistlerites were using this for anaerobic or aerobic training. Hiking was a distant third.

Favourite Whistler athlete

Mountain biker Lisa Dickson (see favourite way to stay in shape) was the people’s choice this year. She beat out such perennial favourites as Ross Rebagliati (No. 2) and Rob Boyd (No. 3). Local athletes who could benefit from a little higher profile include former world snowboardcross champion Maëlle Ricker and mountain bike champion Chad Miles.

HEALTH

Fitness facility

The people’s fitness facility: Meadow Park.

Massage

We’ll keep individuals’ names out of this, and the in-depth reasons for their nominations, and stick to the commercial operations. Whistler Physio was the top choice for caring hands, followed by the Spa at the Chateau Whistler. Blue Highways was number three.

Dentist

Tammy Bexton wins the battle for the bicuspids, the clash of the canines, the mauling of the molars, the… title of Whistler’s favourite dentist. Dr. Roberts was runner up.

Doctor

Top ’o the list was Dr. Shaw, followed by Dr. DeMarco and Dr. Kendall.

Physiotherapist

Whistler Physio again tops this category, followed by Peak Performance.

Health trend

Apparently vegetarianism, in addition to being a word, is a health trend and not an illness. It doesn’t seem to be catching on at Dusty’s but it is elsewhere in Whistler. Exercise is number two on the list, although many see this as a way of life rather than a trend. Yoga was number three.

SHOPS AND WARES

Place for men’s clothing

Willy’s is the people’s choice for dressing up, or dressing down, the man. The Gap came in at No. 2, followed by the Levi’s Store.

Place for women’s clothing

Willy’s is also the choice for women’s clothing. Horstman Trading came in second and The Gap was third. Out Of Town got a few votes, too.

Ski shop

A tough category given the number of choices and the quality of ski shops in Whistler. Bill Lamond’s Wild Willies Ski Club took the top spot, edging out Intrawest’s CanSki. Third spot went to Summit Ski.

Snowboard shop

Intrawest shops took the top two spots in this category, with Showcase edging Westbeach. Summit Ski was again No. 3. The Circle was also in the running.

Bike shop

The favourite store to take care of Whistler’s favourite summer sporting passion is Evolution. The Glacier Shop came second, followed by Fanatyk Co.

Place for golf equipment

Again, golfers weren’t around town at the time of the survey, or didn’t want to let anyone else in on their secrets, so there was no clear winner here. All the local golf courses got a couple of votes.

Grocery store

Nesters Market claims it is where the locals shop, and voting confirms this again this year. Number one in just about everyone’s books.

Gift store

Another long-time tradition, Carlbergs, took top spot. A new comer, the Love Nest, was a romantic second. Lotus Art Supplies was third. Presumably if you can’t find something at Carlbergs and you don’t have romantic feelings toward the person you’re buying for, you turn to art.

Hair stylist/salon

Viva la Revolution. Revolution Salon is number one again. Razzmatazz took second spot.

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