This has been the scene on the street (Blackcomb Way) for a week now where Whistler guests and customers would normally enjoy free parking. If you look close enough there is one bus far in the distance…and that is actually the first bus I’ve seen.
Two days to the games…they are coming, right? Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE the Olympics! I watched the ’76 games on TV as a kid, I was in LA in ’84, I was one of the lucky University students who scored a month off during the games in Calgary in ’88, followed JLB through the consecutive ’92 and ’94 Winter Games that ended in the first ‘official sport’ Gold for Mogul skiing, Ross’s Gold, the Dream teams, the not so dream teams (no comment on men’s hockey…what do they think will happen when they only have one practice as a team before the games?)…all of it! I love it! We even broke the ban on cable TV at our house to be sure we don’t miss a thing this time round. But somewhere in the build up and the anticipation we lost that part of our little town that makes it ours.
The Whistler we all know and love (and sometimes even love to hate…right Max?) has always been above all things our own. Mayors and councils come and go but the one thing you could always count on in Whistler is that we don’t take any sh*t from anyone…(sorry, I don’t know a better way to say it)…we do our own thing, and like a marriage of WB and the community – for better or worse – we set our course and stay it. That’s one of the things I love most about Whistler (and I came here once upon a time from southern Alberta so believe me I know what it’s like to live in a place where they don’t take any sh*t from anyone!)
Enter VANOC and their friends at the IOC…and the much to be debated ongoing ‘Olympic’ plan that brought us here. Lane changes, parking, paving, bussing, parking, tenant rights, Whistler housing, parking, hours of business, Dusty’s…did I say parking? I didn’t think much of the move to pay parking this past summer with a few blocks of free 2 hour parking around the corner from the Upper Village to tell you the truth, but this is February and the dust on the streets (despite the lack of recent snowfall) and in cash tills around the village is nearing ridiculous. Local restaurants with nightly dinner sales at $0, hotel rooms still available throughout the games (yes, I checked for a friend from oil-country looking for two weeks accommodation starting the 12th this morning) and to sum it up, one retailer said the build up to the games has been, “all but devastating” . Like all of us waiting for the snow to fall, we are still – 2 days to the games – all waiting for the Olympics, and the people, to arrive. Was this the plan?
Bring on the games…please!