By Loreth Beswetherick The helm at Whistler Real Estate Company Ltd. is changing hands but the company course is not going to change. A long-time partner in the real estate business, Pat Kelly has reached an agreement which shareholders Drew Meredith, Sharon Audley and David Bayliffe that will see him acquiring 100 per cent control of the company come Sept 1. Meredith, president of the Whistler Real Estate Company and majority shareholder until the end off the month, built the business from a staff of two in 1975 to 35 realtors today, plus a satellite office in Pemberton. And although he is handing over the reins, Meredith is not going anywhere. He instead wants turn his full attention to the sales side of the business. "I have been doing this for 25 years and things are changing in the industry. I am really more interested in pursuing my sales career in more depth rather than the management side of things," said Meredith. He will also act as a sales consultant for Intrawest across North America. The only time in the last 25 years Meredith was not selling real estate was when he was mayor, from 1986 to 1990. One of Whistler’s success stories, the company was born out of a 1975 partnership between Meredith and Andy MacGregor, operating under the banner of MacGregor Pacific Realty. MacGregor had a syndicate of doctors who owned land at the south end of town stretching from Bayshores, Twin Lakes, and Tamarisk to Function Junction. "He was a fairly large developer in the ’70s but he never got anywhere in Whistler because the will of the town was to develop the village areas and create a destination resort," said Meredith. "I assumed we would probably be in a position to sell that land at some point in time — that is clearly not what happened — and I was looking for opportunities to start a real estate office." The only other real estate agency in town at that time was Capilano Highlands which developed Alpine and Emerald estates. In 1985 Meredith managed to bag the Whistler Real Estate nomenclature for the company — an opportunity of a lifetime for which he earned $20 and a bottle of scotch. The logo, colour and name change of MacGregor Pacific coincided with the birth of the Whistler property boom and Meredith never looked back. The real estate company is now, arguably, one of the leading agencies in the country. Kelly said it will still be business as usual at Whistler Real Estate. "I have my business plan but I don’t think from the perspective of the community and customers that Whistler Real Estate will become a different entity come Sept 1," he said. "I have worked with Drew for 18 years and been a partner for more than 10... I don’t think Drew and I differ a whole lot in our approach." Kelly was one of the first agents to work with Meredith. He worked alongside Arv Pellegrin and Jan Simpson (Woodside) — who are also still with the company — plus Michael D’Artois, who now heads up RE/MAX Whistler.