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Creekside: Where Whistler Started

Early Whistler CreeksideThe history of Whistler, starts in Whistler Creekside Village. Whistler officially opened itself to the world in February 1966! On opening day the mountain was equipped with one six person gondola, The Red chairlift and two T-bars. These four lifts powered the entire mountain, in comparison to the 79 total lifts that power Whistler Blackcomb today.

The expansion of Whistler can be credited in large part to one man Franz Wilhelmsen and his investors. Wilhelmsen had seen the area as a potential site for the 1968 Winter Olympics. However, the area was deemed to underdeveloped at the time due to transportation and sustainability issues.

While the 1968 Olympic bid wasn't meant to be, the mountain was recognized as an area for future expansion. From 1962 to 1965 Wilhelmsen and a group of investors under the corporation Garibaldi Lifts raised $800,000 for future development of the area. Until 1966 the mountain had been referred to as London Mountain. However, investors and developers were unhappy with the name and on August 27, 1965 London Mountain officially became Whistler Mountain. In 1966 the British Columbia government paved the road from Vancouver to Whistler. Making way for comforatable travel to and from Whistler.

Soon skiers began to recognize Whistler as some of the best ski terrain in North America. Whistler began to expand and the a number of "A" frame cabins, hostels, a pub, a gas station and basic ski town amenities began to sprout up in what became Whistler's first neighbourhood. With the development of Whistler Village in the 1980s, the community became known as Creekside.

Franz Wilhemsen's Legacy - Whistler Creekside Village

Today, Creekside is a bustling community that many locals and visitors lay their head. In the early 2000's Whistler Creekside received a multi-million dollar revitalization that saw the creation of a brand new Whistler Creekside Village retail complex. The new area offers a variety of retail choices, great dining options and entertainment alternatives. Ski essentials, from Whistler Blackcomb equipment rentals to beginner ski lessons at Whistler Kids, are easily found at the slope-side shopping area. Dining options are plentiful from the highly acclaimed Rim Rock Cafe to the cool and casual Creekbread eatery, Creekside offers something for everyone’s pallet.

Whistler Creekside

Positioned at the foot of Whistler Mountain, Lodging Ovations' three condo style hotels Legends, First Tracks Lodge and Evolution are truly ski-in-ski-out, making for memorable winter vacations.

Whistler Creekside is the perfect option for guests looking for a laid back atmosphere, away from the hustle and bustle of Whistler Village. Whistler nightlife means grabbing a pint at Dusty's Bar & Grill, a late dinner at Creekbread, or a cozy night in front of your own private fireplace. Perfect for families and couples in need of a little rest and relaxation. Creekside days are spent on the hill, browsing the Village, visiting the lakes or going wherever your feet take you!

Photo Credit: Steve Rogers, David McColm,Whistler Museum & Archives Society