Events are already a multi-million dollar industry for Whistler, and with the Olympics just over four years away the number and size of events are expected to increase significantly.
In recognition of the growing importance of hosting events, the Whistler Events Bureau comprised of Whistler-Blackcomb, the Resort Municipality of Whistler and Tourism Whistler recently decided to revamp and formalize their partnership to create a new entity called Events Whistler.
Events Whistler will provide a "centralized point of contact for those interested in pursuing event opportunities in Whistler," while continuing to produce resort-based events like the Crankworx mountain bike festival.
Events Whistler is in the process of hiring a full time general manager responsible for identifying opportunities and liaising with third-party event producers.
The general manager will report to Tourism Whistler and be accountable to the board of directors, including representatives from Tourism Whistler, the RMOW and Whistler-Blackcomb.
"Events Whistler will help rally resort resources for those wanting to produce innovative, exciting events in Whistler events that are consistent with Whistlers brand, values and community," said Oliver Flaser, the director of marketing for Tourism Whistler. "Ultimately, its about driving room nights to Whistler by attracting and delivering events that will thrive in the resort."
Flaser says WEB had intended to hire a general manager, but under Events Whistler the role of the manager was further clarified and focused.
"It was originally thought that WEB would be a funding body for third party events, but thats not the case. The goal is to make it easy for third-parties to come in here and get the kind of help they need," he said.
The name change was necessary because the partners felt that WEB sounded too bureaucratic, while Events Whistler was more dynamic.
According to John Rae, the manager of strategic alliances and marketing services for the RMOW, Events Whistler "will provide assistance in several areas including operations, promotion and administration. The administrative help will be especially valuable to organizations that need introductions to decision makers in the resort regarding permits, licensing, policies and process."
Events Whistler will also play a major role in delivering Olympic test events and international competitions leading up to 2010, as well as an increasing number of arts and culture events related to the Game.
"And when events succeed in Whistler, the whole resort benefits," said Doti Niedermayer, the executive director of the Whistler Arts Council.