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WSSF 2013 was labour of love

Loss of major sponsors creates funding shortfall, forces organizers to do more with less

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"One business said they had a record high sales for winter on the second Saturday, while another said they set a new record for business, summer or winter," she said.

"Definitely the village was busy, but we don't have any numbers yet around accommodation. We've heard Whistler Blackcomb is happy with ski visit numbers, although we're not sure what those are yet.

"Overall, our number one priority is to create business while we reflect on our community and mountain culture, and I believe we did that this year. Particularly in light of the challenges we face, I'm very happy with the festival this year."

Tourism Whistler won't have final booking numbers until mid-May, and bookings were too last minute to provide any kind of comparison to previous years.

The festival will continue in 2014 said Eckersley, and should have some new sponsors in place by then. She confirmed that the festival organizers were in discussion with several companies, including automotive companies and telecommunication companies, that are progressing, and they hope to be able to announce something by the end of the summer.

"We're pretty confident that next year we'll be back in a position where we have the money to spend," she said. "At the end of the day we want to put out a product that Whistler can be proud of."