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‘Is the single, biggest issue,’ Whistler Blackcomb to build staff housing

Last Updated Sep 26, 2018 at 10:26 pm PDT

(Source: facebook.com/GoWhistler)

Whistler Blackcomb is planning to build a 200-bed complex to house staff

Blackcomb is hoping to house over a third of its employees

They are hoping to begin construction by spring or summer 2019

WHISTLER (NEWS 1130) – Tired of having workers leave due to a lack of housing options, Whistler Blackcomb is planning to build a 200-bed development for its staff.

The dormitory-style housing will be available exclusively for resort workers, mostly seasonal.

“For us, housing is the single, biggest issue that our community is facing,” said Marc Riddell with Whistler Blackcomb. “It’s probably the key thing that plays into whether or not someone is going to come and work for us.”

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He said much like the Lower Mainland, Whistler is also experiencing a low vacancy rate, noting both residents and employers are feeling the crunch.

“A lot of folks will look at us and will go through the hiring process, hire somebody and then when they find what the housing issue is like here, it’s challenging and it’s challenging on how we can retain those employees,” he said.

Rent will be approximately $400 a month. Riddell said the new complex will staff resort workers ranging from ski instructors, to maintenance staff, and cooks.

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Currently, Blackcomb houses 31 per cent of its workforce, but once the complex is in place Riddell saidthey’re hoping the majority of the workforce will be housed there.

The cost of the project is still unknown but Whistler Blackcomb will be paying for the development.

The project will be presenting the plan to council to obtain the rezoning permits needed. Council has already approved to transfer the density credits, Riddell said. Blackcomb is hoping to start construction by spring or summer next year.

“We know we have a lot more work to do but it’s certainly a start,” Riddell said.