Where did the club cabin come from?
Reprinted from Ski Whistler, the Club's Jan-Feb 1997 Newsletter
Bill Damn, WMSC Alumnus, Chairman of the Building Committee
I ran into Gary Taylor the other day. I haven't seen him much lately, but seven years ago, we saw each other every Wednesday at 8 a.m. at the WMSC Building Committee Meeting. Gary mentioned that new Club members admire the Club Cabin and wonder where it came from I thought that such an amazing story should be recorded.
These are the final minutes of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club Building Committee, this 12th day of May, 1996.
Terry Hale, then a senior member of the executive as Alpine Committee Chairman, sat down beside me on a log, looking out onto sunny Alta Lake. 'Bill,' he said in his disarming way, 'the Club Cabin is being bulldozed for the new lift.' (Editor's note: The Quicksilver Chair)
'Oh,' I said, not taking the bait.
'Why don't you organize a new Club Cabin,' said Terry, as if discussing dinner reservations.
'How much money does the Club have?' I asked naively.
'Money?' said Terry, looking at me with politely disguised contempt.
The point is, he somehow convinced me. That is how the madness started.
The White Spot on Georgia: Wednesdays, 8 a.m. sharp, no excuses. We got Gary Taylor to join us as Club Liaison. He became our most reliable Building Committee member, keeping the Executive on side with our loony schemes to spend $500,000 that the Club didn't have. (We actually spent $700,000!)
Get the land free! After much negotiating, first with Lorne Borgal, and then with Charles Young, successive Presidents of Whistler Mountain Ski Corporation, and after much legal work separating 'our' parcel from a much larger parcel, we got our 99 year lease. The legal fees were absorbed by the Ski Corporation.
Rob Boyd's Gold: Rob's gold medal got us the Club Cabin. Nat Bosa, elated as we all were, was riding up the Olive Chair with Club Member, Jim Wyse. Jim, vocal as usual, spoke of wanting to commemorate Canada's first World Cup Gold on Canadian soil. Voila--$300,000 donated by Nat for Whistler and Blackcomb to build Club Cabins. Nat blessed us with cash and also committed to build both structures. No cash payment, no personal guarantees, not even a budget-he just built them. Amazing!
Doug Day's secretary clipped a news item about a BC Lottery Fund. John Reynolds was the MLA for Whistler. He agreed to support our request. I assembled the application packages for Whistler and for Blackcomb [Ski Club], who had the same problem. By the end of August 1990, we had plans and approvals for all and sundry. To get the Lotteries' approval, we needed clear title on the prize, a $150,000 condo. Enter Nat Bosa again. He gave us a condo unit until we sold enough tickets at $100 each, to repay him. John Reynolds got Lotteries' approval at the last possible date for a construction start by September 1.
Fall 1990: Construction
By starting so late, there was great pressure on Robert Bosa to complete construction by December, great pressure on Terry Hale for working drawings and building permits: they did it! Ask Bill McNeney how we got a BC Hydro hook-up. I can't put it in writing!
I still haven't got a final cost out of Robert Bosa, but I have an uneasy feeling that the number starts with 7 rather than 5. John Reynolds had agreed to support a second BC Lottery request for the 2 clubs, when a lottery fund scandal erupted in White Rock. John ran the approval through a weekend Cabinet meeting 2 days before the entire fund was frozen. Blessed again!
Party time! We are giddy with wonder. Drinks speeches, more drinks. Shiny floors, gleaming lights, a real kitchen. Even a caretaker's unit. We came out of a prefab trailer with no place to sit, and you didn't have to take your shoes off. Have another drink and we'll worry about paying Nat tomorrow. Have a seat on the elegant Hotel Vancouver furniture scrounged by Doug Day.
1990 - 1995-Sequel
Many condo lotteries later, Nat is finally repaid. He will never be forgotten. We should also remember the contributions of the others: the untold hours Terry Hale put in, on drawings, approvals, and construction supervision, Gary Taylor's many, many Building Committee related meetings and years of ongoing lottery efforts, and countless individual contributions, such as Dr. Bob Adams physically trucking the ski lockers up from Vancouver and carrying them and placing them in the locker room Obviously the list is too long for this record.
1. Get a Club Cabin for free by December 1990.
2. Upgrade the level/effectiveness/social role of the Club.
3. Provide an amenity for the community as required by the Lottery Fund.
Editor's Note: Thanks to such dedicated Club members as Ron Booth, Dick Gibbons, Max Meier, Dave Williams and John Brown, as well as all others who have bought and sold condo tickets over the years, the Club Cabin was fully paid for and debt free in 1997. In the spring of 2000, the Club Cabin was moved from its original site, the hillside where First Tracks Lodge now stands, to its present site. We are grateful to Intrawest for all its assistance in moving, renovating and landscaping our Club Cabin.
Information submitted by Jane Finlayson, January 2001