Are we in Vancouver really not welcome in Whistler this ski season? And why won’t the Mayor talk?


Are we in Vancouver really not welcome in Whistler this ski season? And why won’t the Mayor talk?

Last weekend the Mayor of Whistler, Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, [we like to call her Mayor Nancy because it sounds friendly], had some curious warnings for those of us who live in the lower mainland and love to ski in Whistler.

The Mayor was quoted as saying, “We don’t necessarily want people who are coming up for a day, packing a bag with their lunch in it, and not really appreciating the mountain culture that we have.”

Really? You mean if I want to grab a few friends, drive up in one SUV with our skis and enjoy a great homemade lunch from a pack pack on the mountains and then return to Vancouver that same day, I’m not welcome?

Mayor Nancy went on to say, “We have a significant machine that has to be fed, and if people are driving up to Whistler for the day … that’s not going to sustain our economy, not by a long shot”, and added, “Just come up — and really enjoy this place,” she said. “And do so over several days.”


Okay, so it kind of sounds like those of us in the lower mainland are “sort of” welcome if we meet certain conditions. No homemade lunches in a paper bag and we have to stay a few days.

I don’t know about you, but doing that weekend in and weekend out is way above my snack bracket budget.

We wanted Mayor Nancy to come on the morning show and clarify her position. We put in a request and received an e-mail which read, “The Mayor is not available for comment”. We subsequently contacted an assistant to the Mayor, Randi Kruse who spoke to me on Wednesday morning and told me the Mayor was too busy and could not fit Roundhouse Radio into her schedule and had no comment. Too busy for the people down the highway in her home province?

Total consumer spending in Whistler is close to $1.5 billion a year. A large chunk of that comes from those of us who live in the lower mainland.

We deserve to know if we are welcome from this elected official for a day with a B.Y.O.L. [Bring Your Own Lunch] and no expensive multi-night hotel stays.

You wanted this success and now you have. Times 100.

Mayor Nancy, if you’ve grown too big for your ski pants that you don’t have time for a Vancouver radio station, let me remind you who were the first people to visit Whistler.

It was the people of the lower mainland who drove up for some limited skiing, lunch in a bag and a drove home near the end of the day and laid the foundation for what Whistler is today.

And you’re telling me you’re too busy for a quick conversation? That’s not good enough.

Gene Valaitis

Gene Valaitis
Brilliant or Crazy? We’re not quite sure. What we do know for sure is that me, Gene, in the mornings will ease you into your day with thoughtful conversation, music and his unique take on everything Vancouver. Tune Monday to Friday from 6 to 10 am online, or at 98.3 FM!