The special Inukshuk, proudly welcoming guests to the Sundial Boutique Hotel, has lost its Olympic spirit.
Last weekend the handcrafted red Canada mittens, proudly covering the "hands" of the Inukshuk, disappeared.
Staff noticed the mittens were gone early Saturday morning, between midnight and 5 a.m., just days after winning first place in the Whistler Chamber of Commerce's Olympic decorating contest.
Their loss is a blow to the hotel staff and has marred the excitement over their first place win.
"It's one of those things where you put so much time and effort into something and you get into the Olympic spirit and someone steals these mittens," said David Demers, owner and general manager of the Sundial Boutique Hotel.
"There was a lot of pride by all our staff (put) into the contest."
The large mittens, fashioned after the official and now famous HBC red mittens, were made by local artist Cary Campbell Lopes. She rushed to make them before the chamber's judging took place.
Though he is intending to get another pair made, Demers is hopeful the mittens will be returned.
In the meantime, the Inukshuk has been moved inside the hotel and replaced with the Sundial's Olympic podium display outside, a move Demers said he hated to do.
The winners of the chamber's 2010 decorating contest, Get Your Game On, were announced at a Jan. 21 luncheon.
For the first place win the Sundial was awarded a Panasonic Plasma TV. The second place winner was Pasta Lupino Gourmet, who won Olympic tickets courtesy of VISA. Third place went to Re/Max Sea to Sky Real Estate who won $1,000 in HBC gift cards, courtesy of the Canadian Olympic Committee.
The Chamber will hold another decorating competition for the Paralympic Games. The registration deadline is March 4 and the judging will take place on March 9.