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The dream has finally come true for Whistler.


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Whistler-Blackcomb, which provides housing for thousands of employees, is also looking forward to the development of the landbank.

"From a community perspective I am really excited about the legacy lands and the ability to truly create some more employee housing opportunities," said Dave Brownlie, senior vice-president of finance for Whistler-Blackcomb.

"It is the people who live and work here who really make it tick and we need to support that over the long term."

Whistler-Blackcomb will also be getting a number of upgrades to runs, snowmaking and lifts in preparation for the Games.

The Bobsleigh, Luge and Skeleton facility (The Whistler Sliding Centre) will also be built on Blackcomb and run with an endowment fund after the Games.

Both the Sliding Centre and the Nordic Centre will be run by a Legacies Society, which will own and operate the facilities.

Construction of the Nordic Centre won’t begin before 2005. But the plans are already looking beyond the Games themselves and into the future.

Currently both the Squamish Nation and the Lil’Wat Nation claim the Callaghan as traditional territory. Both have signed an agreement with the government giving them certain rights and access to funding as part of the deal for putting the Nordic Centre in the Callaghan.

Both Nations will play a crucial role in its development post Games.

Squamish Chief Gibby Jacob sees the Games as a great opportunity for the youth. Sixty to 70 per cent of the Squamish people are under 30 and Jacob hopes the Games will provide employment and inspiration for them.

"We have to give our youth a look at what the best of the world has to offer," said Jacob.

"We have a lot of world class potential in our community. "

Jacob would love to see First Nations youth on the podiums in 2010 as well.

"I would love to see that before I go to meet my ancestors," he said.

Squamish and Lil’Wat are also looking at plans for a cultural centre in the Callaghan and perhaps even a golf course.

Both groups will be partners in the organization formed after the Games to manage and run the legacies.

Recently elected Mount Currie Chief Leonard Andrew admits to feeling torn when he heard that Whistler and Vancouver had won the Games.

His community is divided on whether this is an event they want to be involved in.