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Whistler Workforce looks to ‘outside’ companies

Local deadline for temporary housing project was Jan. 20



Not all the 300 beds in Whistler Workforce - a temporary project to house employees during the 2010 Olympic Games - will be occupied by local companies.
According to the project's spokesperson, John Jervis, the deadline for local companies to sign up for the projects was 5 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 20.
Now, the remaining beds will be offered to outside companies.
"This is a point where we have had to come forward and pulled the trigger to get it going," said Jervis.
"Every month that goes by is a lost revenue month that we need because we are spreading out the cost of site servicing."
Jervis couldn't say how many of the 300 beds have been claimed by Whistler companies so far, but stated it is "over the 50 per cent line."
He said the housing project will likely be ready for occupancy on March 1, 2009.
"Once we get access to the site and get the site prepped, the buildings can arrive from the factory and get put up very quickly," he said.
Since the Whistler Workforce project was announced in mid-November - following the collapse of a similar housing project called Phoenix in September - several companies coming to Whistler for the 2010 Olympics have contacted the group.
One of those businesses is MDA Corporation from Richmond, B.C.
David Klassen, buyer for MDA, contacted Whistler Workforce two weeks ago because he needs to bring up to 60 security technicians and guards into Whistler for the Games.
Klassen said he has since found a plot of land in Pemberton where MDA could put trailers, but the company would still be interested in something in Whistler.
"Our options are still open," said Klassen.