I've been called many things by many people. After 30 some-odd years rarely am I fazed by these names. That is until the other day when I was actually called an ambassador. An ambassador of Squamish to be exact. I remember it clearly because for a preciously brief moment I envisioned fancy license plates, special parking stalls and powers stretching above the law. Then reality came crashing in as I realized there's no such thing as ambassador immunity.
However, lacking an official ambassador title I would be delighted to do my part. On behalf of Squamish I feel my first order of business should be to welcome the newest great insurgence of members to our community. The northerner's known as Whistlerites.
That's right the gig is up you resort lovin' fools, we know you're here. All those crazy boys and girls who have been calling Whistler home for the past several years are being ousted out of their Disneyland by rising property taxes and housing prices. With Pemberton also out of reach if you want to stay in this amazing corridor we are the one option remaining that doesn't involve a winning lottery ticket.
"Flush twice, it's a long way to Squamish." Yes, the butt of countless jokes appears to be the final frontier for affordable housing in the corridor. Granted, long time residents would argue that the housing prices went completely insane the moment we got the bid. The first clue is someone paying far to close to a half a million for a Valleycliffe crap box complete without insulation and barely enough electrical outlets to survive. In Whistler dollars however, that's still a steal.
So it is, Whistlerites by the thousands have descended upon our quickly changing town. And just in time to see our secret mountain home become Whistler's shopping center. The writing is on the highway and with more than just one corporate cookie cutter headed our way, now more than ever it's important to remember your neighbors. The local people / businesses that have been working, living and spending in Squamish for years now. I'm sure the new players on the highway will do fine business but there's people like Helmut who have gone a long way to make Sea to Sky Fine Meats the locals choice. Not to mention our unique Sub's Plus downtown beside the Royal Bank. I defy you to find a place that could possibly put more character into each and every meal (No, they didn't pay me to say this, although they're more than welcome to). Then of course there's the bike and climbing shops, the motor sport shops, the coffee and lunch spots, the list goes on and limited research will quickly tell you the right choice to make.
So once again, welcome to Squamish brothers and sisters of the north. May you have the time of your life while never forgetting that every dollar is a vote.