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 December 14, 2006
TELUS Whistler Conference Centre Sales Up 140% Over 2005

 Tourism Whistler reports that the TELUS Whistler Conference Centre has increased sales by more than 140 per cent compared to 2005.

In 2006, Tourism Whistler's conference sales team will secure in excess of 60,000 room nights for 2006 and beyond, representing an increase of more than 140 per cent in revenue booked at the TELUS Whistler Conference Centre compared to 2005.

"There has been a shift in the booking trend towards increased close-in business so that now 40 per cent of group business is booked in the year, for the year, compared with just 20 per cent in previous years," said Karen Goodwin, Director of Sales for Tourism Whistler. "With the shortened booking windows, having a very responsive and dynamic sales team has become even more critical to our success in securing group business for the TELUS Whistler Conference Centre."

The conference centre and a few of the larger hotels are not the only businesses in the resort that benefit from a growth in visits by large groups.

"The positive affects of solid group business ripples throughout Whistler's economy as visitors take the opportunity to experience the incredible selection of accommodations, restaurants, spas, shops and activities," adds Goodwin. Group delegates to Whistler choose from more than 115 hotels, B&Bs and condos, 90 restaurants and bars, 20 spas, 200 retail shops, 15 parks, five major lakes and a extensive range of activities - including world-renowned skiing, snowboarding, golfing and mountain biking.

Of the total room nights booked in the resort, approximately 25 per cent is attributed annually to group business. For 2007, Tourism Whistler's conference sales team will continue to focus their efforts in the high-volume Canadian markets of British Columbia and Ontario, along with the west-coast US markets of California and Washington. New for 2007 will be a focus on the Alberta meetings market based on its strong economy and regional proximity.

First opened in 1985, the 65,000 square foot TELUS Whistler Conference Centre underwent a $12 million renovation and re-opened in September 2003 with 40,000 square feet of rentable meeting space, including a 2,000 person capacity ballroom, a dramatic Grand Foyer holding 600, as well as a 300 person amphitheatre, a glass conservatory with mountain views, a business centre and 14 individual meeting rooms, among other features.

Whistler is a year-round leisure and meeting destination located 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and is site of the alpine, nordic, sliding and Paralympic venues for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Whistler has a range of accommodations totalling 3,200 hotel rooms, and more than 5,000 other tourist accommodation units including condos, B&Bs and chalets. Whistler offers a wide selection of restaurants, bars, spas, boutiques, galleries and activities ranging from world-renowned skiing and snowboarding, mountain biking and golf, to hiking, rock climbing, and watersports. Whistler Blackcomb mountains feature 3,036 hectares (8,171 acres) of terrain and receives an average of 9.14 metres (30 feet) of snow per year. The Resort Municipality of Whistler is home to a diverse community of more than 10,000 permanent residents.