Whistler is many things to many people. To the traveller half way across the world Whistler is an item on the bucket list just itching to be crossed off. To the recreational property owner in the Lower Mainland Whistler is a weekend refuge, an adventure portal full of memories of good times spent with friends and family. To full time Whistler Locals Whistler may be your income, your neighbourhood, your history or your legacy. The subjectivity of Whistler is as diverse and colourful as the people that occupy the town throughout the year. But what do the locals really feel about living in Whistler? What industries support the community and how many people actually visit Whistler each year? We turn to the objective data to answer these questions, here is a snapshot of Whistler’s community life, local economy and visitor numbers.
In a 2015 survey conducted by the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), community members were asked the simple question, “what is your overall satisfaction with Whistler as a place to live/ spend time?” You may not be surprised to learn that the majority of respondents (78%) indicated they were very satisfied with their life and how they spend their time in Whistler. Only 20% of respondents stated they were somewhat satisfied and only 2% claimed they were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, somewhat dissatisfied or very dissatisfied (only 2%!). That means according to this survey 98% of respondents were very or somewhat satisfied with their life in Whistler. I don’t know about you but that seems very high. I wonder what these numbers would look like in other parts of the Province?
Tourism is an obvious driver of the Whistler economy, but what about the gross domestic product generated by each industry? According to RMOW, in 2015 Whistler’s total GDP was $1.3 billion- not bad for a town of around 10,000 full time locals. Financial Services, Real Estate, Rental and Leasing made up the largest portion of the areas GDP at 26.2%. Retail trade made up for a quarter of the entire annual GDP at 25.8%. The other 50% of the areas GDP was from Food and Beverage Services (14.5%); Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (12%); Accommodation (9%); and the last quarter was made up of industries including construction, government, transportation and more.
According to Tourism Whistler, Whistler has over 10,000 permanent residents, 2,702 seasonal residents, 11,522 second-home owners and over 2.7 million visitors each year. The first few months of 2016 saw a record number of visitors to the resort town and summer bookings are ahead of pace for accommodation reservations over the coming months.
There is a reason Whistler attracts so much attention from an international audience. It truly is one of the most beautiful, spectacular and action-packed places in the world. Those lucky enough to call this place home get to enjoy what millions of people travel across the world for on a daily basis. No matter who you ask; a traveller anticipating a trip to Whistler, a holiday home owner south of the border or a long-term Whistler local that’s seen the town transform over a lifetime; Whistler truly is a magical place and the longer you stay, the less likely you’ll ever want to leave.
Denise Brown has lived the real riches of Whistler life for over 25 years and has been an award-winning Realtor in Whistler for over 15. Denise is passionate about using her connections to find people the perfect Whistler home whether it is a holiday unit, an investment property or a forever home. Contact Denise today and take the first steps to owning your piece of Paradise Whistler.