The Village Host program quietly marked its tenth anniversary last summer. With modest beginnings in the village information trailer as ihost, 10,000 visitors were helped over the summer of 2004. Cathie Coyle has been with the program from the beginning while Erin Morgan joined shortly after. Their hard work has been instrumental in the program’s success and growth with over 224,000 resort guests assisted in 2013.
The Village Host as we know it today debuted in the summer of 2005 with a mandate of service excellence while representing the resort. The Village businesses received an immediate and tangible benefit. They could put their energy and time into customers’ needs rather than answering resort questions. The hosts provide that personal touch that contributes to the guests visit exceeding expectations. The program is funded through the municipality and the Province of BC Resort Initiative Grant. There are two kiosks- one at the Village Square and the other at Celebration Plaza by the playground.
Things to do with kids, on a rainy day, where to hike, where to see a bear, things that are free – the suggestions are endless. Coyle and Morgan work closely with the business community, Tourism Whistler and the Resort Municipality of Whistler. Their hard work ensures the volunteer hosts head out to their shift armed with up to date resort events and information. At the same time Coyle and Morgan guard over their flock of volunteers ensuring they have hand warmers, appropriate clothing or a quick break.
Volunteers from all walks of life
The same passion they put into their work extends to their care of their hosts. The 120 volunteers come from all walks of life with an age range of 16 to 70’s. Some are quite new to Whistler while others are long-time residents. The one thing they all share is a passion for Whistler and a willingness to learn more about our home.
Reuniting keys, phones and wallets with their sometime frantic owners or assisting a guest who can’t find their hotel are part of an everyday shift. With the increase in summer destination visitors the hosts work with guests to plan their multi day itinerary for hiking or mountain biking and help determine the right activity for their level of fitness or fear. It’s very rewarding when a visitor comes back to the kiosk and says it was their best hike or burger and you know you’ve made the difference in someone’s Whistler experience.
Have a question about Whistler? Drop by the booth and let the hosts take care of you. And for the moguls? They hibernate in the summer. Who knew?