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Mountain Community :: Whistler :: Articles :: Whistler Survival Guide

Whistler Survival Guide

By Chris Charpentier

So you want to come to Whistler for the winter to live the great white dream. We've put together the Whistler Survival Guide because there are a few there are a few things you should know (preferably before you get here).

Finding a place to live
The best advice is to get here early. The season generally starts in mid to late November. Getting here early means that you should arrive BEFORE October 1st. The earlier the better as often there is very limited accommodation left after November 1st and what's left will be very expensive as landlords try to rip off the desperate people that still have nowhere to live. Expect to pay between $500 and $800 per month during the winter. This may or may not include the bills. If you are really desperate Pemberton is only a 20 minute drive away, but you'd want to have your own car.

If you are arriving for the summer, accommodation is fairly easy to find between April and October and generally cheaper. See below for resources to find a place to live.

Short term accommodation
Most people arrive in town homeless. You'll need to find some short term accommodation if you don't have a friend's couch to sleep on. Hostelling International Whistler 604 932 5492, Southside Lodge 604 938 6477, UBC Whistler Lodge 604 932, Whistler Creek Lodge 604 932 4111 or check the local papers for short term accommodation.

Getting a job
While it's pretty easy to find a job in this town, it's not that easy to find a good job. For obvious reasons the night jobs are the most desirable and so the good ones get snapped up quickly. Even university graduates may find themselves washing dishes to avoid the dreaded day job! Many companies will offer you free season passes, staff housing and other perks to get you to work their day jobs. Don't be fooled, if you are really here for the snow you do not want to work on powder days.

Whistler/Blackcomb and most of the large hotels in town hold job fairs in October or early November to recruit employees for the winter season. You can contact WERC (Whistler Employment Resource Centre) 604 932 6281 extension 11, Whistler's Personnel Solutions 604 932 4832 or Employment Unlimited 604 905 7696. See below for more resources to find a job.


Whistler Ski & Snowboard Community - www.whistlercommunity.ca
Place free classified ads to look for work and a place to live. Browse the ads placed by landlords and employers. Meet others that are new to town at the forums. There is also plenty of info about the outdoor activities around town.

The Pique - www.piquenewsmagazine.com
A great place to find accommodation and jobs. They generally have the most listing. You can download their latest issue or browse the ads at their website. New issue comes out every Thursday.

The Question - www.whistlerquestion.com
Another good local newspaper where you'll find plenty of classifieds . New issue comes out every Thursday.

Notice Boards
There are some notice boards in town where you may find ads posted for accommodation. You'll find them at the gas stations in Creekside, WERC, Alpine Market, Blenz, Nesters Laundromat and most of the hostels in town.

The catch
You want to get here in October to find a place to live, but most jobs won't start until late November or December. You may have to pay nightly until you find a place and then shell out for damage and possibly other deposits. You'll need to eat, you'll want to go out and drink. So the truth is a couple of grand is probably needed to keep you going until the pay checks start rolling in.

Final Tips
The Reuse-it Center in Function is a great place to find used furniture, sporting equipment, clothing and all the little things that you didn't bring from home.

Check the forecast before you go out to the bars. Missing a great day on the slopes because you're hung over is a crime.

The Library in town has free internet.

We hope the Whistler Survival Guide helps you on your way.

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