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M.I.C.E. Venues

 April 29, 2002
$9-Million Whistler Conference Centre Renovation Announced

 Tourism Whistler and the Resort Municipality of Whistler have announced the approval of a $9-million Whistler Conference Centre (WCC) renovation that will support the increased demand for expanded conference facilities and services in Whistler, the renowned mountain destination on Canada's west coast. "This renovation will give Whistler the edge it needs in order to move to the next level in becoming a major international conference destination," says Suzanne Denbak, President & CEO of Tourism Whistler. "Our sales team has defined significant opportunities for bringing new conference business to Whistler, and many meeting planners have been awaiting the renovation announcement to book future events."

The 12-month project, slated to begin in October 2002, will feature increased meeting capacity including ballroom (increasing from 1,800 to 2,500 people), and meeting breakout space (increasing from 500 to 1,000 people). The atrium will grow by three times providing significant pre-function capacity for up to 1,600 people. Other new features will include a grand entranceway, a glass atrium meeting space, a business centre and enhanced telecommunications capabilities throughout.

The new WCC will showcase a west coast design theme and a number of "green" building attributes. New aesthetic features will include a grand Rumford fireplace in the main entrance, and wood and glass finishings throughout. Sustainable building materials and products will be used such as natural or recycled fibre carpets, certified wood products, and a high-efficiency lighting system. Builders will employ deconstruction and construction techniques focussing on reusing existing materials and minimizing waste.

A second phase renovation, which is valued at $15 million, would include major developments such as geothermal heating, additional meeting room capacity, in-house composting, a water conservation system, a new executive meeting space and a new sophisticated building management system. The approval of the second phase has not been announced.

Whistler is a year-round leisure and meeting destination located 75 miles north of Vancouver, on Canada's the south west coast of Canada. The mountain village features 115 hotels and 5,200 rooms ranging from luxurious hotel suites to family-oriented condominiums. In addition to the WCC, which will offer 50,245 square feet of meeting space, Whistler offers more than 150,000 square feet of meeting space in multiple venues including the unique Roundhouse Lodge at the top of Whistler Mountain. Once expanded, the Resort will have the total capacity to host a group of up to 2,300 people.