WS Interview – A seasoned local

Trawling through facts and figures on official websites will only tell you so much about a place; to really get a feel for a town you must go there and talk to a local, and Whistler is no different.

Local folks, local knowledge

For those living around the world who are yet to get into town, that is near impossible, so WhistlerSeason.com set out to provide the next-best thing. We asked Queensland native Joel Walker a few quick questions about life in Whistler from the perspective of a four-season ‘local’.

WS: As someone who has done multiple summers and winters in Whistler, punctuated by a year back home in Australia, what is it about the place which brought you back, and makes you want to stay?

JW: The mountains are the main thing that continue to draw me back here. The type and style of terrain, and the sheer amount of it are what keep me coming back season after season, summer and winter.

WS: For a Whistler winter season worker who hasn’t considered staying for the summer, what’s great about it in your view?

JW: Summer is not just about riding bikes. You get a lot more “non-sport tourists”. There are plenty of lakes, hikes, fishing and other leisurely activities to undertake. Not to mention the days last a lot longer so you have plenty of time to fit everything in.

WS: Any ‘local knowledge’ style tips for life in Whistler?

JW: Do a bit of research in your first few weeks. Figure out a budget quick and find the best places to shop. Most importantly, start talking to anyone and everyone, as the people in Whistler are your best resource for absolutely everything you need. (WS: We can’t stress this enough!)

WS: So the terrain is awesome and the people are great, what about the town? Specifically, any special advice for your countrymen?

JW: Bring more money than you think you’ll need! If you’re just coming for a season you can still work, but you will want to party, go exploring, etc. Unfortunately Whistler is a tourist town, especially in summer, and in a tourist town, those things cost the most money. Other than that; have fun, stay safe, and don’t EVER say “Whis-tralia”.

Cheers Joel, top advice for everyone looking to visit Whistler!

Insider Part Three: Save Money in Whistler

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of ‘Insider’ posts by our contributor Ed White.

This is an area open to your own interpretation; you can save money in a fairly significant way, but it does involve some effort. It essentially boils down to a play-off between what you’re willing to risk and sacrifice, or what you’re willing to spend.

Save money on accommodation in Whistler

We’ve covered this in more depth in our Whistler accommodation pages, but a few points are worth noting. If you want a private room, be prepared to really pay for it. Ask yourself how much time you will realistically be spending in it, and whether some earplugs/headphones wouldn’t be a whole lot cheaper… Same goes for location; you may save money living out of the village, but a monthly bus pass and fewer amenities may not equate to money well-saved. Some rooms are advertised as unfurnished, and are consequently cheaper. Craigslist advertises a wealth of free stuff, so if you have a friend with a truck, you might be onto a winner.

It’s also well worth checking out the Re-Use-It Centre and the Re-Build-It Centre run by Whistler Community Services Society. Both of these community focused projects are located in Function Junction, Whistler, and sell a huge variety of second-hand household items from saucepans to sofas, and almost everything in between. Prices are extremely low, so be ready to possibly kit out your new digs for $100 or less!

Save on banking costs in Whistler

Canadian banks offer accounts at varying costs per month, often depending on the of number of transactions. Work out how often you are going to use you card, and go from there. Read our Banking guide for a quick rundown on Opening a bank account in Whistler. You will be charged for using other banks’ ATMs, so either embrace the extra walk, or pick a bank closest to where you live/work. For those in hospitality, living off tips (if you get enough) is a great way to save your actual wage.

Cell phone savings

Canadian phone plans are limited to region (e.g. a Whistler number will be charged roaming in Vancouver), and very expensive for what they offer. As such, many seasonaires go without. A smartphone and almost blanket WiFi coverage mean that Skype, Google chat, Facebook, What’s App etc. can all be used to keep in touch for free. However, if your manager decides to change your shift, and can’t get through to you, expect consequences. Rolling up to work when you could have had a lie-in/fresh tracks, only to find your shift has changed does not equal happy times. Read our introduction to cell phones – Choosing a cell phone in Whistler – for more information.

Save money with sensible food shopping

Whistler is 120km from Vancouver, so most things have to be driven up there. Thus it is considerably more expensive. Of almost mythical renown amongst seasonaires is the ‘Shopping Trip to Squamish’. Pretty self-explanatory; someone you know is going to Squamish (home of large food stores and lower prices), they ask for a few bucks for gas, and everyone loads up on vats of milk, cooking oil, pasta, cereal, etc. This is likely a worthwhile venture for the longer-term. Some stores even offer free shipping, so do your research first.

Many restaurants and cafes allow their employees one free meal per shift, which certainly saved me a whole lot of dollars. Scouting around the village reveals various cheap food options, from re-heated day-old pizza slices (hey don’t knock it!), to the now legendary Baked Potato and toppings from a certain establishment for a mere $3.49 inc tax.

Other, more alternative schemes

These comprise all sorts of ideas, each requiring a certain amount of inventiveness. One guy I lived with decided bread was too expensive (valid point), so he hitched to the Re-Use-It Centre in Function Junction, bought a bread machine for a few dollars, got a lift to Squamish to buy sacks of flour and yeast, and subjected the machine to such heavy usage that it eventually burnt out and died. He did however save money in the long run.

Others crochet woolly hats and sell them online/in the village. Others offer language exchange or resume help. Such schemes obviously require effort, and are not guaranteed a regular return. But if you’ve got a skill then it’s worth trying to leverage a few dollars for your time.

Part One – Tips for Service Industry Jobs
Part Two – Work Life Balance
Part Three – Saving Money
Part Four – The Lift Pass

Insider Part Two: The Whistler Work, Ride, Party, Sleep Balance

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of ‘Insider’ posts by our contributor Ed White.

Arguably the hardest art to master, the balance between what you want to do, and what you have to do, is something which only you can figure out. There are pros and cons to everything; believe it or not, you can ski too much, and you can definitely party too much. However, sometimes such things are unavoidable, so here are a few secrets which can be employed to get you through your day/shift.

Nutrition

Waking up aching and sore every day isn’t conducive to getting up for first lifts. Whilst they may seem to be the preserve of gym rats and athletes, recovery supplements such as protein shakes can in fact be found in the bedrooms of many long-time seasonaires. Learn from those who know!

The Cure

Some swear by poutine as the ultimate hangover cure, specifically from a certain shack on the way to the lifts (hint: it begins with ‘Z’). This is an exclusively Canadian speciality – just like the Caeser (another Canadian hangover cure) – so take advantage of it.

Socialising

Not so much a secret, more a recommendation to go drinking (no, really!). Going out in any ski resort is expensive, and Whistler is no different. However, due to most seasonaires living in private housing, rather than in the places where they work (e.g. European chalets and hotels), there are a lot of house parties. The close-knit community and hospitable attitude means that most people know someone at the venue, and as long as you bring your own drinks, friends of friends are usually welcomed. These parties are rad for a few reasons: First, you spend far less, second; you meet far more people than you would in a public venue, where people tend to interact only within their group. Thirdly, when you bump into said acquaintances on the mountain, an impromptu riding crew forms, often resulting in some of the best memories of the season. A flat-out 12-man train down A-Line has to be experienced to be believed, and the thought alone is often enough to get you through a seemingly endless shift.

Powder

For those here for the winter, there is NOTHING on earth which cures a hangover like fresh tracks. Do everything you must to crawl out of bed and onto the lift. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Water

Sometimes, only a bit of R+R will do. In the summer, Whistler’s many lakes are a haven of cool water, grassy shade, and rope swings of varying gnarliness. Lost Lake and Alta Lake are particular favourites. In Winter, find a friend with a hot tub if your house is one of the few without. Cold beer + hot tub = win.

Part One – Tips for Service Industry Jobs
Part Two – Work Life Balance
Part Three – Saving Money
Part Four – The Lift Pass

The Shock Factor – Some Thoughts and Advice from a Whistler Insider

While Whistler Blackcomb was voted the number one resort in North America by Skiing Magazine for 13 years in a row, and is very keen to tell you so, the resort generally holds an air of mystique and wonderment to all those within gravity sports. No matter where you hail from, and no matter if you’re a freeskier, a park rat, a downhill racer, or a wannabe A-Line hero, everybody considering a season in Whistler has seen the place on film, whatever their chosen sport or discipline, and they all want to go there.

Making the move to Whistler

I moved to Whistler off the back of a few years skiing and riding in the Alps where I had seen the tall tees, the fat skis, and the Troy Lee-clad pinners. Each resort had a hierarchy of local fast and gnarly guys and gals, and there was often a lot of hushed talk and bravado amongst seasonaires about this exact subject. (Tip: this is Whistler … many of the folks here are pro!)

Unsurprisingly, it naturally follows that the most famous ski/bike resort in the world has the highest concentration of die-hard resort-bums in the world. People flock to Whistler from around the world, and as such, competition for jobs and housing is extremely fierce, and can come as a shock to those used to the all-inclusive benefits of working for a British tour operator in the Alps.

Finding your feet

As is detailed in the accommodation pages of this website, $500 for a shared room is standard, as is taking out a mortgage to buy a season pass (kidding, but only just). A single bag of groceries can easily cost $40, and a single pint of lager will leave you disappointingly little change from a $10 bill. Thus it follows that working a 5 x 8 hour week is not unusual; it pretty much needs to be, given the above costs. In spite of this, employers and landlords are so inundated with resumes and enquiries that a lack of any reply is a familiar situation for those new in town. Fresh and enthusiastic though they may be. Thus the onus is on you to be judicious in your timing and approach. After all, this is Whistler, you are here for a reason, and are prepared to do what it takes to ride here.

The above isn’t meant to be a doom-laden warning, more a pointed note of what to expect. More often than not it is the small things which go the furthest; always smiling, being chatty but on-topic, saying hello to all the staff/housemates you see, and generally having an air of easy-going confidence are the things which people remember.

Part One – Tips for Service Industry Jobs
Part Two – Work Life Balance
Part Three – Saving Money
Part Four – The Lift Pass 

 

 

 

Beware of Whistler Accommodation Rental Scams

Another Winter season is approaching in Whistler and already the stories are trickling in about people falling victim to online rental scams when searching for accommodation.

Whistler can get crowded during the peak winter months and it can be a tough task finding decent accommodation. People often get desperate and panic, and this is when scammers thrive.

PiqueNewsmagazine‘s current issue includes a story about how one unlucky Australian lost $4,000 to a scammer on Craigslist. The story is an all too familiar one. After replying to an accommodation offered advert on Craigslist, the man was talked into transferring the cash to a Western Union account in Manhattan, New York.

The rule of thumb is NEVER send money to anyone without first having met them in person and viewed the inside of the advertised property with them.

To learn more about how to look out for and deal with scams on Craigslist, please visit craigslist.org/about/scams.

Following the first two pieces of advice will likely keep you clear of scammers:

  • DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON—follow this one rule and avoid 99% of scam attempts.
  • NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or other wire service – anyone who asks you to do so is likely a scammer.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Fairmont Housing | Season Accommodation Whistler

Looking for cheap accommodation in Whistler? If so, Fairmont Housing offers affordable ski in ski out accommodation located at base 2 beside the Blackcomb Gondola. They offer shared 2 bedroom units fully equipped with a fridge, stove, microwave, toaster, oven and all the other mod cons to make you become a domestic ski god/goddess. Each unit has a living room, which is furnished with basic furniture: minimum one couch, one chair, a lamp, a TV and some tables.

In winter there are 4 people per 2 bedroom units. In summer it’s usually 2 people per 2 bedroom unit. Couples can shack up together too.

Fairmont housing offers a really great option accommodation in Whistler. Rent is just $455 for 4 weeks. Plus tenants are required to give a $300 security deposit. Rent terms are flexible; ranging from weeks to months to years.

Anybody interested can book a viewing or request information at mark.munn@fairmont.com. Applicants require 2 references from previous landlords or employers.  If you have references in writing if you send them on with your initial inquiry it can speed up your application.

 

Whistler Grocery Price Index

We’ve been busy compiling Whistler’s first grocery price index for new arrivals and locals a like. It will give Whistlerites new and old a good indication of the cost living here. So far we have just stopped by IGA Market Place and the Grocery Store, but will be checking out Nesters tomorrow.

IGA Market Place

$

Grocery Store

$

Chicken Breast

3.78

Chicken Breast

4.45

Steak (Sirloin)

6.89

Steak (Sirloin)

6.9

Steak  (Inside Round)

3.41

Steak  (Inside Round)

3.85

Freybe Ham 175g

5.49

Freybe Ham 175g

4.99

Clover Leaf Tuna Tin

1.95

Clover Leaf Tuna Tin

2.49

Eggs 12

3.15

Eggs 12

2.99

Milk 2% 1L

2.99

Milk 2% 1L

2.59

Bread IGA

 $2.95

Bread Buttercup

1.99

Noodles ‘Mr Noodle’

3x$1

Noodles ‘Mr Noodle’

0.49

Lettuce ‘Green Leaf’

1.49

Lettuce ‘Green Leaf’

1.99

Pasta Rotini 900g

2.59

Pasta Rotini 900g

3.99

Hunts Pasta Sauce 213ml

 $.99

Hunts Pasta Sauce 398ml

1.99

Butter Becel  454g

4.59

Butter Becel  454g

4.49

Dr Okter Pizza

6.75

Dr Okter Pizza

7.49

Cheese Block IGA 300g

4.89

Cheese Faith Farm 394g

8.79

Durex Condoms 3 Pack Sensi thin

2.99

Durex Condoms 3 Pack Sensi thin
Crest Toothpaste

2.29

Crest Toothpaste

2.69

Cheerios

3.48

Cheerios

6.99

Apple Gala (price per lb)

1.49

Apple Granny Smith (price per lb)

1.9

Tomato (price per lb)

2.99

Tomato (price per lb)

1.99

Total

58.22

 

73.05

 

 

*Notes:
Hunts Sauce was 213ml in IGA and 398ml in the Grocery Store
Couldn’t find condoms in Grocery Store
Noodles in 3 packs in IGA

Whistler Season Accommodation

Finding Whistler season accommodation can be a tricky business. The two things you need to think about are price and location. Generally speaking the closer you get to the village the higher the rent will be. Ways to cut costs are to room-share, get staff housing (you don’t always have to work for the company) or live a little bit outside the village.

Finding Whistler season accommodation

Here we’ll go through some of the main residential areas, what they’re like, how to get to them and what the ballpark rent will be.

The rental costs indicated below are monthly approximates and are based on typical Winter season rates (usually up to 6 month stays during the peak season, November to April). If you’re planning on staying on after the Winter season you can usually find cheaper rates in Summer starting in May, or by negotiating a year-round average for long-term contracts in advance (usually 12 months).

Whistler subdivisions

Alpine Meadows

Alpine Meadows is located 4km north of Whistler Village. It’s about 5-10 minutes on the bus from the village and in the Summer season it’s accessible by the Valley Trail. It is predominantly a residential area but does have a small grocery store, a café and a sports centre/gym. Meadow Park is located nearby, which is a great place to chill in the Summer. Meadow Park Sports Centre offers a gym, swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room, as well as tennis/basketball courts and baseball diamonds outside.

Average Rent – Single Room: $650
Average Rent – Shared Room: $400

Alta Vista

Alta Vista is located 3km from the village. It is a predominately residential area situated beside Alta Lake close to the Valley Trail. In Summer it’s an excellent location for watersports with Backroads Canoes & Kayaks and the Lakeside Park Watersports Centre located there.

Average Rent – Single Room: $650
Average Rent – Shared Room: $400

Blueberry

Blueberry is a residential area located 1.5 kilometres from the village. Served by the Valley Trail it is about a 10 minute walk into the village. In Winter the Valley Trail can be tricky to navigate and it’s easier to get there by bus.

Average Rent – Single Room: $650-$750
Average Rent – Shared Room: $500-$600

Brio

Brio is located 3 kilometres south of Whistler Village. It is a 5 minute bus journey from the village. In Summer you can walk from Brio to the Village in about 15 minutes. Brio is a residential area. Its main benefit is it’s close proximity to the village.

Average Rent – Single Room: $650-$750
Average Rent – Shared Room: $500

Creekside

Creekside was the original base of Whistler Mountain. It has a range of amenities including supermarkets, bars, restaurants, a bank, laundromat, dentists and its own gondola providing direct access to the ski slopes of Whistler Mountain the winter. The gondola takes you to the bottom of Red Chair. Red Chair will bring you to the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler. Lot’s of seasonaires choose Creekside as their home as it has so many amenities but still relatively low rent due its distance from the village.

Average Rent – Single Room: $500-$650
Average Rent – Shared Room: $400-$500

Emerald Estates

Emerald is located 7km north of Whistler Village. Emerald is known to be one of the quieter neighbourhoods. Rent is considerably cheaper out this way, but this is because it’s so far out. It’s not an ideal location for a seasonaire.

Average Rent – Single Room: $400-$600
Average Rent – Shared Room: $300

Fairmont Chateau Staff Housing

The Fairmont Chateau provides housing for staff and for people not working directly for the hotel. The housing is located about a 10-minute walk from the village. It’s a great location though there is a bit of a hill to be hiked to get there! Prices in 2013 were $10.50/night for staff and $16.25/night for non-staff. Staff housing is an unbelievable way to meet people and have a great season.

Nordic

Nordic is about a 5-10 minute bus journey from the village. It is a residential area with no shops, though that’s no biggie as Creekside is about a 5-10 minute walk away. Creekside has shops, bars and a gondola.

Average Rent – Single Room: $600-$800
Average Rent – Shared Room: $350-$600

Nesters

Nesters is a commercial area near the village. It’s home to Nesters Market grocery store, which is said to be the cheaper of the grocery stores around the village. Also around Nesters you can find restaurants, cafés, a barbershop, pharmacy and other amenities.

Average Rent – Single Room: $550-$750
Average Rent – Shared Room: $350-$500

Whistler Blackcomb Staff Housing

If you get in here you are laughing. It will be an epic season. Though be warned, it’s party central. You will struggle to leave your room without partying. There are three locations for WB staff housing – Glacier Park, Brio and Westside. You can find out more about them on Whistler Blackcomb’s website. Prices vary depending on location and if you have a single or shared room, but for the most part it’s around $18 for a single and $10 for a shared room per night.

White Gold

White Gold is a residential area located a short walk from the village. It is within easy access of Nesters Market grocery store, restaurants and other commercial amenities. It is also a short walk from the Lost Lake, which is a nice trail route in Winter and Summer. White Gold is also home to Whistler Waldorf School, Spruce Grove Fieldhouse & Baseball Fields and the WCSS Community Greenhouses.

Average Rent – Single Room: $700-$800
Average Rent – Shared Room: $400

Whistler Cay Heights/Whistler Cay

Whistler Cay Heights is a 5-minute walk to the village. It’s one of the best locations in Whistler. The benefit of Whistler Cay Heights is you have the village and the gondolas/lifts on your doorstep, all within walking distance. It’s also got the valley trail nearby so in the Summer you can walk, jog and cycle to your heart’s content. Whistler Cay is the area located behind Whistler Cay Heights a bit further from the village but still accessible by foot from the village.

Average Rent – Single Room: $600-$900
Average Rent – Shared Room: $400-$500

Where to look for Whistler season accommodation

Online

The most popular place to look for Whistler accommodation online is undoubtedly Craigslist. The most important thing to remember when using Craigslist is never send money electronically to anyone, especially if you are not in Whistler and have not seen the property and met the landlord in person. A lot of people are scammed out of thousands of dollars every year before they even arrive in Whistler. We’ve written about this before, so take a minute to read our post, Beware of Whistler rental scams.

Local Press

Pique Newsmagazine is one of Whistler’s two free local newspapers. It publishes every Thursday and can be found on stands throughout the village. It has a comprehensive Classifieds section listing both short and long-term accommodation in Whistler.

Letting Agents

There are also a number of professional letting agents in Whistler who can tailor your search and offer available properties based on your profile. Here are just a few …

Mountain Country – www.mountaincountry.ca
Whistler Property Services – www.whistlerproperty.com
Exclusive Accommodations – www.whistlerexclusive.com

Whistler Housing Authority

The Whistler Housing Authority offers access to affordable housing for those hoping to live and work in Whistler. If you are planning on staying in Whistler for at least 12 months it is well worth adding your name to the waiting list to receive email updates about available rental accommodation. Visit www.whistlerhousing.ca for more information.

Additional information for tenants

Your monthly rent may not be all you need to pay. There are additional expenses that can add up over time if they are not covered in your rent payment. While most places will offer at least the basics such as garbage removal and laundry (these may be common strata facilities outside of your building) it is worth asking some questions:

Does the rent include hydro (heat/electricity), cable and/or internet?
Is there a washer and dryer?
Is there garbage removal?
Is there parking?
Is there a bus service close by?

Having to pay for some of all of these services can add quite an expensive on to your monthly rent. 

Tenants rights and information

The Residential Tenancy Branch website, http://www.rto.gov.bc.ca, answers some questions you may have about the Residential Tenancy Act.

The Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre also have a handy Tenant Survival Guide available for download.

Finding housing in Whistler leading up to the Winter season can be a challenge. So grab Pique Newsmagazine early on a Thursday morning, pound the pavement and make lots of phone calls. Remember, landlords can get hundreds of applications for each property, so it’s best to leave detailed voicemails or emails so they can weed out the non-organised and not-so-dedicated tenants.

Welcome to Whistler, have fun!

Getting around Whistler with BC Transit

Whistler is well serviced by bus by BC Transit. The bus costs $2.50 per journey. If you live outside the village and will be taking the bus regularly it makes sense to buy a monthly bus pass. In 2013 monthly passes cost $65 and 6 month passes cost $330. Bus passes can be bought at various locations throughout Whistler including The Grocery Store, Whistler Village Info Centre, 7-Eleven and Nesters Market. Remember to keep your receipts when you buy your bus passes as you can use these later in the year when you’re claiming an income tax refund.

BC Transit routes and timetables

BC Transit Whistler Route Map
Whistler is well serviced by bus by BC Transit.

Click the links below to check timetables for each route.

Route 1 – Valley Connector – To Cheakamus
Route 2 – Creekside/ Cheakamus – To Cheakamus
Route 3 – Rainbow/Emerald – Loop
Route 4 – Marketplace Shuttle – Loop
Route 5 – Upper Village/ Benchlands Shuttle – Loop
Route 6 – Tapley’s/Blueberry – Loop
Route 7 – Staff Housing – Loop

BC Transit have also put together a video on how to use Google Transit while planning your BC Transit trip:

Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS)

The Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS) is an invaluable service to seasonaires to help them to settle into Whistler life. WCSS provides a range of events, services and amenities to Whistler seasonaires every year. These include counselling, support for injured or sick and a recycle centre for seasonaires to buy cheap ski gear.

Check out below for more details on their programs…

Whistler Welcome Week

WCSS host a welcome week for all new Seasonaires in November. Throughout the week different events are hosted often including a film night, pool party and a welcome dinner. The welcome dinner is a great event usually attracting at least 1000 seasonaires. The dinner is usually provided by several of the top restaurants in the village. For more information check here.

Re-Use-It Centre

The Re-Use-It Centre is Whistler’s second hand store. The bargains that can be picked up here are unbelievable. Skis, snowboards, boots, ski jackets, ski pants, books and electronics are just a sample of the amazing goods you can get there. It’s located in Function Junction. The number 1 bus South or 2 goes there from the village and it’s open 11-6 daily. For more information check here.

Counseling Assistance Program

The counselling assistance program offers anyone who is financially restricted $50/hour towards an approved and licensed councillor or psychologist session. To qualify you must have been here for more than 3 months. For more information check here.

The above is just a sampling of some of the many fantastic projects WCSS provide. Check their website for the full selection. www.mywcss.org

Whistler Season Pass

Whistler Season Ski Pass

Getting your mitts on a seasons pass is vital to any season. There are three ways you can get one; buy it, volunteer for it or work for Whistler Blackcomb and get it for free!

Buying a Season Pass

Unlimited Season Pass            Early Bird (Pre Oct 8th)            Regular

 Adult (18-64)                                              $1,489                        $1,795

Youth (13-18)                                               $675                           $739

Spirit Pass                                                      ——-                        $1,249

Buying a pass is obviously the priciest option! For most though it is unavoidable, but definitely worth it.

A Spirit Pass is what most Seasonaires not working for the mountain go for. To qualify for a Spirit pass you must work for an employer who is a member of The Whistler Chamber of Commerce and then take a half-day course in customer service.

If you have already bought a season’s pass and then qualify for a Spirit pass later you will be refunded the difference. Once you have your season’s pass you will be able to avail of some discounts you can check them out here.

Get a Season Pass for Free

All Whistler Blackcomb staff get a free seasons pass provided they continue working for Whistler Blackcomb (AKA “the mountain”) and stay in good standing with them.

With a mountain staff pass you will also get:

  • 25% off at Whistler Blackcomb retail locations
  • 25% off rentals before 1pm
  • 50% off rentals after 1pm (except during peak periods)
  • 25% off repairs with odd specials at 50% off
  • 20% off at Tuning Centres ~Ski service is $25 and snowboard is $30 (could be more depending on damage)
  • 50% off at all market style restaurants.
  • 20% discount at Merlin’s, Dusty’s and GLC seven days a week
  • Free group lessons available when space allows in the right ability level
  • 20% discount on all Ski School Programs such as: Dave Murray Camps, Private Lessons, Ski Esprit, Roxy Camps, Extremely Canadian and Telemark Lessons.

 Volunteer for a Pass

Whistler Blackcomb offers free passes to volunteers who commit to working for the mountain for a certain amount of days of the year. It’s usually around 20 days and these can be spread throughout the season in some cases.

Whistler Bike Park Lift Pass

Early Bird (pre May 16th)               Regular Rate 

Unlimited Pass                                        $599                                           $639

With a bike pass you will also be entitled to:

  • 20% off @ Garbanzo Bike & Bean
  • 20% off Garbanzo Rentals and the Whistler Mountain Bike Park Demo Centre.
  • 15% off @ Garibaldi Lift Company, 20% off @ Roundhouse Lodge (Excludes Mountain Top BBQ)
  • 20% OFF on hot drinks at GBB (valid on espresso-based beverages.)

 

Whistler Hostel Accommodation

If you have never been to Whistler before and are planning on staying for a season or longer it’s a good idea to start off your accommodation search in a hostel. Hostels are great as they give you the opportunity to get your bearings and meet people who will be in the same position as you – all searching for accommodation. You will also be able to check out a few places without having to commit to anything before you have seen them.

Hostels as short-term accommodation in Whistler

Fireside Lodge

Fireside Lodge Whistler
Fireside Lodge Whistler

Fireside Lodge

The Fireside Lodge is situated on Nordic Drive about a 5-10 minute bus journey from Whistler village. It’s got a cosy cabin feel with a huge communal kitchen and living room. The ideal surroundings for meeting fellow seasonaires! The bedrooms are a bit small, but they are in most hostels and it just adds to the cosy log cabin feel! Another bonus is its games room; equipped with a pool table and a table-tennis table. Fireside is a great place to start off your Whistler accommodation search as it is both near the village and Creekside, so you can check out a good few places nearby to decide where you want to live. Fireside starts from $23. You should note, it is private members only once the season starts, so can be hard to get a reservation.

AMS/UBC Whistler Lodge

AMS/UBC Whistler Lodge
AMS/UBC Whistler Lodge

AMS/UBC Whistler Lodge

Is located further up Nordic Drive past the Fireside Lodge. The big bonus of UBC is the hot tub and sauna. UBC has a large common room area but as the kitchen closes at 8pm it can be a bit of an atmosphere killer. Though still a great spot to meet people and the bedrooms are a decent sized. Though be warned in both Fireside and Noridc some of the rooms don’t have doors just curtains! Once you get used to it you forget why doors were ever needed! Prices start from $30 in low season and go up to $35 once the season starts.

HI Hostel Whistler

HI Hostel Whistler
HI Hostel Whistler

HI Hostel Whistler

HI is more of a four star hotel than a hostel. The bedrooms are gigantic and an elevator makes it the most pimped out hostel going. There’s also a decent café and bar, which is a real luxury in a Whistler hostel. The drawback to Hi Hostel is that it is quite far from the village. It’s not too far, but about 10-15 minutes on the bus. Prices start from $31 and progress as the season starts.

Southside Lodge

Southside Lodge Whistler
Southside Lodge Whistler

Southside Lodge

The Southside Lodge is located in Creekside. It is not the swankiest accommodation in town, but has a good location. Situated in Creekside near bars, restaurants, shops and a gondola, it’s about a 5 minute bus journey to the village.