Whistler's Lasting 2010 Winter Games Legacies
By partnering for extraordinary Games, Whistler was able to leverage the Games to advance its community vision of a sustainable Whistler, and at the same time, play an important role in delivering Canada’s Games.
Here’s a list of Whistler’s Lasting Legacies from the Games:
Global awareness and brand recognition resulting from being on the world stage, with 3.5 billion TV viewers and many thousands of international visitors.
Community Land Bank provided 300 acres of gifted Crown land for resident housing development, if required by the community in the future. The Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood is included within this 300 acres.
Cheakamus Crossing Whistler’s newest green neighbourhood resulting from the Athletes Village. Among its many attributes, Cheakamus Crossing includes affordable housing for approximately 800 local residents, an innovative energy system and storm-water management.
The Whistler Athletes’ Centre operated by Whistler 2010 Sport Legacies Society and includes the High Performance Centre, athletes’ townhomes and Lodge. These facilities will provide training facilities and accommodations for athletes training in Whistler.
Whistler Medals Plaza hosted performances and celebrations during the Games, including the Paralympic Closing Ceremony. Post-Games, the venue will become Whistler Olympic Plaza and will be a hub for arts, culture and recreation in Whistler. It’s anticipated the project will be completed in summer 2011 and will include public art and memorabilia celebrating the 2010 Winter Games.
The Whistler Conference Centre received $3 million toward renovations and updates to provide improved meetings and events services that will help Whistler build this important business sector.
Financial tools included incremental revenue from the hotel tax from the provincial government (previously 2% of the provincial hotel tax came to resort communities – this increased to 6%) that contributed approximately $7 million annually to help grow Whistler’s tourism economy.
Boundary expansion, approved in 2007, gave the municipality jurisdiction and better capability to manage its watersheds and growth management policies along its boundaries. The total area of Whistler increased to 24,300 hectares from 16,500.
Representation on the Whistler 2010 Sport Legacies Society, the not-for-profit agency that owns, manages and operates Whistler Olympic Park, The Whistler Sliding Centre and the Whistler Athletes Centre and provides the community the opportunity to affect future use of these venues.
Representation on the board for the 2010 Games Operating Trust that provides funding to help maintain and operate Whistler 2010 Sport Legacies venues and will play an important role in assisting Whistler with the development of high performance amateur sport.
Whistler Olympic/Paralympic Park, the competition venue for biathlon, ski jumping, Nordic combined and cross-country ski events during the Games is now a legacy for the enjoyment of local residents, visitors and athletes in a variety of uses, ranging from recreational to high-performance.
The Whistler Sliding Centre hosted the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton events during the Olympic Winter Games and provides visitors, athletes and event managers with a unique four-season venue for recreational rides, training and event space.
Enhanced snow-making is available on Whistler Mountain as a result of Games investment.
Sea to Sky Highway safety upgrades and capacity improvements that were accelerated for the games has left a lasting legacy for visitors, residents and businesses alike.
A new CT scanner, located in the Whistler Health Care Centre, is the result of a $1.4-million Olympic legacy from a General Electric donation made to the Sea to Sky corridor.
Hydrogen buses, resulting from the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada investing in the largest single hydrogen bus fleet, and fuelling stations for Whistler and Victoria, have made Whistler part of the Hydrogen Highway, running from Whistler to San Diego.
A new natural gas pipeline constructed by Terasen Gas enables the community to experience an immediate 15% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with the conversion from propane to natural gas.
BC Hydro’s installation of a new substation in 2006 in Function Junction has increased the overall capacity and reliability of service to the community.
Environment Canada set up three state-of-the-art weather stations to help improve mountain weather forecasts: at the 1,650-metre mark of Whistler Mountain; at the top of the Garbanzo Chair; and on Mount Waddington on the southern British Columbia coast – upstream in the weather flow to the Whistler area.
Enhanced telecommunication services as a result of Bell installing 286 kilometres of fibre-optic cable from Vancouver to Whistler, ensuring a legacy of improved telephone, TV and digital services for Whistler residents. Additional fibre-optic cable was installed in the village to add permanent capacity for broadcast and event services.
Local business success was achieved with many local contracts secured to build competition and non-competition venues; scores of retailers carrying VANOC merchandise; and others involved in Gamestime contracts for catering, commercial space rentals and accommodations.
Increased public art will celebrate and commemorate the 2010 Winter Games in Whistler Olympic Plaza and throughout the resort.
Cultural opportunities have been supported through Games sponsor funding toward the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, and the Cultural Capitals designation and funding Whistler secured in 2009.
Whistler has provided enhanced accessibility for people with disabilities, making it one of the most accessible resort communities in the world.
Whistler residents have increased skills and capacity due to their involvement in the Games, either through work or volunteering, which will be transferable to other elements of community building and economic opportunities.
Lasting partnerships with Canada, the Province, Vancouver, First Nations and others will help Whistler continue to build a stronger resort community.
Working together to execute the 2010 Winter Games Strategic Framework, Whistler’s key stakeholders have continued to build stronger relationships as we move closer to the concept of “Whistler Incorporated”.
Community-wide knowledge and pride that Whistler residents’ entrepreneurial spirit, diverse skill-set and “can-do” attitude will help enable the community to achieve anything it sets out to accomplish.
Games-time use of the driving range as a parking facility will result in significant driving range upgrades post-Games. Changes will include: reconstructed teeing surfaces, new netting system, target greens, range field, putting green, chipping green and practice bunker. The putting green, chipping green and practice bunker will double in size.
Road improvements from Function Junction to the Village provide additional room for cyclists and vehicles using this busy section of highway.
The Accessible Playground provides children of all ages and abilities with easy access to play. The playground was constructed in partnership with 2010 Legacies Now Society, Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Rick Hansen Foundation.
The Austria Passive House will become the Lost Lake PassivHaus and is a model for sustainable passive design. It will be a community resource and event facility.