CP Hotels’ plans for the Chateau Whistler expansion were approved by council Monday, and should provide additional recreational facilities on the Benchlands. Architect David Thom told council the principal reason for the expansion is to broaden the Chateau’s convention business. The second phase of the Chateau, which was approved in concept in 1987, includes 221 hotel rooms in a seven-storey tower to be constructed on top of the existing ballroom. Much of the existing parking lot will be taken over by a three-level parkade structure. A convention floor will be built above the parkade, including a 14,000 square foot ballroom, and a rooftop garden will be on top of the ballroom/parking structure. The rooftop garden will be used for many of the activities which currently take place on the lawn adjacent to the Mallard Bar. The garden will be built to accommodate large reception tents and will include a small chapel for weddings. Construction will start in the spring and is expected to take about 18 months. The existing land use covenant requires CP Hotels to provide at least five more tennis courts as recreational amenities. CP has offered a donation of $100,000 cash in lieu. The municipality will investigate how best to spend the money but will try to use it to provide facilities on the Benchlands. o o o Architect Eldon Beck toured Village North with municipal planning staff last week and considered concerns about the Mont Blanc building casting a shadow over Plaza Square. Director of Planning Mike Vance said the Mont Blanc building won’t change but a commitment was made to make Plaza Square and the rest of the corridor through the Town Plaza buildings an active, exciting space. Vance said staff and the Town Plaza merchants are looking at banners, lighting and other things that will give the area a lively feel.