Whistler-Blackcomb announced May 11 that it is going ahead with construction of the 47-unit employee housing building on Alta Lake Road, opposite Twin Lakes.
The project, which was first announced by Whistler Mountain Ski Corp. prior to its 1996 merger with Intrawest, will provide beds for 172 Whistler-Blackcomb staff next winter and should open up approximately 100 beds in the community, according to Kirby Brown, director of Employee Experience.
"At the peak of the 1998-99 winter season, we rented 350 beds in private valley houses. As a result of the new building, this number will drop to less than 250 next season," Brown said in a release.
The new building will consist of 39 two-bedroom units and eight one-bedroom units, including one unit specifically designed for wheel chair use.
The new development will increase Whistler-Blackcombs inventory of employee beds to almost 1,500, which the company says will guarantee every first season employee a bed and offer about 300 beds to returning employees.
The new building will also allow Whistler-Blackcomb to reduce the number of people living in many of the existing residences, including Brio, Nordic and Glacier Park.
Whistler-Blackcomb is also doing major renovations to the Glacier Park buildings, near Base II on Blackcomb, this summer. Units that have hotplates, half-sized sinks and little cupboard space will be completely renovated. Existing kitchen areas will be expanded to provide new stovetop burners, a full sink and increased cupboard and counter space. The kitchen expansions will be achieved by using closet space from one of the bedrooms and rearranging the units layout. The bedrooms will have shelving added to compensate for the lost closet space.
In addition to the rental housing being built by Whistler-Blackcomb this summer, the Whistler Housing Authoritys Beaver Flats rental project has been under construction for more than a month. The project will provide 57 rental apartment units this winter. Six employee-restricted duplexes are also under construction. The duplexes will be sold to local employees.