Opinion » Editorial

Wait for it...

by

comment

It's easy to get caught up in the "what-ifs" of life, including, "what if it doesn't snow more before opening-day weekend?"

But long experience has taught me that it's a complete waste of time to entangle oneself in these rhetorical discussions.

And worrying about the weather is one of the greatest wastes of time there is (yes, the forecast calls for sun in the next several days, sigh]. It is not something we can control—let's leave aside the impact mankind is having on the weather due to climate change from this discussion at the moment. Mother Nature will do as she will and we have to adapt.

What we can all do, as we get set to enjoy another snow-sliding season, is make sure that visitors to Whistler see us at our best.

It's easy to forget that we are all in this together when it comes to the resort. This is a destination where outdoor adventure is our currency all year round. We are not really that diverse when it comes to offerings. Sure, we have a great arts-and-culture scene and gastronomically we excel. But they are the supporting actors in a stage production where our mountains and the amazing valley are the stars.

We have all gone on holidays where the weather has not cooperated, or the accommodation was not as expected or myriad things have happened to throw the vacation off track. But what always saves the trip are the people you encounter, the service you receive—that one optimistic person who helps you find some activities that stops a family from imploding or a couple from turning to Netflix as a last resort.

I was reminded of this last week when Pique's editorial team spent some time getting to know the new COO of Whistler Blackcomb Geoff Buchheister.

A ski racer through university in Colorado, he said: "One of the things I learned back in my ski racing days is that there are so many things you can't control, so you focus on the things that you can."

He went on to contextualize this in talking about the still scratchy transition Whistler is going through as Vail Resorts settles its mantle on Whistler Blackcomb. (Talking about this feels like picking an old scab.)

"They didn't send me here by accident," said Buchheister.

Let that idea settle in for a moment.

Then add to it the fact that he used to work for Park City ski resort—a place he thought he would spend his career at—before it too was taken over by Vail Resorts.

"A lot of folks in this community can relate to exactly what I lived through in that time—working at a resort that was passionate and proud of their identity and who we were, and how we were showing up ... All of a sudden you get to the point where you're an acquired employee and part of a company that for a long time you had viewed as competition.

"I was faced with, 'OK, I can be part of a group of people that are going to resist this, both internally or externally in the community, or I can step into it and see what's possible.' I chose to do that."

That is Whistler's culture too. We show up. We show up for friends in need, we show up at sporting events to shovel, slip, keep time, we show up at work to help make sure the guest has a great time, we show up to support organizations like Playground Builders, Bicycles for Humanity, the Kelty Patrick Dennehy Foundation, the Whistler Health Care Foundation, and so many more.

We show up.

There will always be challenges in front of us as a resort, and the only way we will overcome them and continue to succeed is to be a partner, to be open to new ideas and show up.

Here's to a snowy season in 2019/20.

Tags