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Whistler Chamber of Commerce to compete on global stage at World Chambers Competition

Local business organization named as finalist in 'Best Education and Training Project' category

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The Whistler Chamber of Commerce will be competing on the global stage this September as part of the 2017 World Chambers Competition.

Last week, the chamber was named as a finalist in the “Best Education and Training Project” category of the international competition for its Whistler Experience training program.

The local chamber was selected from 53 applications worldwide representing 27 different countries.

A partnership with the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business, Whistler Experience is the chamber’s revamped customer service and education program for frontline staff and employers. Roughly 16,000 people have enrolled in the program over the past three years.

“Being honoured as a finalist is a true testament to the passion and dedication our business community has to achieving globally recognized service excellence,” said Melissa Pace, chamber CEO, in a release.

Going up against the Bursa Chamber of Commerce and the Eskisehir Chamber of Industry, both in Turkey, along with the 150,000-member Hamburg Chamber of Commerce in Germany, the Whistler business organization is “by far” the smallest among the four finalists. The Whistler Chamber of Commerce currently counts just over 700 members and seven staff.

The future of the Chamber’s Spirit Pass — a reduced rate season’s ski pass offered as part of the Whistler Experience program — has come under question with Vail Resorts’ $1.4-billion takeover of Whistler Blackcomb last summer. With Vail’s commitment to offering reduced season’s pass offerings, there has been some fear that the discounted rate would encourage resort employees to forego a Spirit Pass in lieu of the cheaper, multi-resort Epic Pass, priced at $1,117 for 2017-18.

But with Vail’s announcement in March that the price of a Spirit Pass would drop from $1,439 last year to $1,229, officials are confident it will still provide ample bang for the buck.

“We're really excited to see the Spirit Pass is alive and well,” Pace told Pique at the time. “It's one of the larger benefits that employers have here for employees, so the pass price definitely comes to us as a great opportunity.”

Now the chamber will showcase the Whistler Experience program to a panel of judges at the 10th annual World Chambers Congress in Sydney, Australia on Sept. 19. The winners will be announced at a gala dinner on Sept. 21.

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