Is Whistler Investor Friendly?

BAW4.2It seems like a fair question to ask. After all Whistler is a world famous ski resort and was host to events like the 2010 Winter Olympics. It is certainly a great place to ski, snowboard, mountain bike, hike, golf and a whole host of other great activities. Which makes it a great place to vacation. And there are certainly a lot of great hotel and lodging choices when you visit Whistler.

However investing in the Whistler Real Estate is a whole different story. The Whistler real estate market has been a lot more unpredictable over the last 10 years. If you use Phase 2 real estate property as an example, one could make an argument that it has faired worse than other kinds of Whistler real estate. Is it recovering? Some may say so. We’re not so sure.

Phase 2 real estate is a Whistler real estate model that attaches a Whistler covenant (set of restrictions) to every buyers purchase of their property.

Phase 2 properties are largely hotels and condominium projects and Whistler has almost 5000 of these units in prominent developments like The Westin, The Four Seasons and The Pan Pacific. The restrictions that the City of Whistler attaches to your Phase 2 purchase restrict your usage to 28 days in the summer, 28 days in the winter and the requirement that you place your unit in a rental pool to be managed by a single manage for the remainder of the year.

So it would stand to reason that if you buy into a good project, that has good management, then the rental revenue you receive monthly could help you offset a significant portion of your investment. Sounds good in theory or so we thought.

We (a group of unit owners from around the world) invested in a Whistler Phase 2 project called the Nita Lake Lodge. We had an aggressive investor decide that he was also going to take over the management of the hotel without approval from the other owners. Once he did, he used other owners rooms without paying them for over a year. He has since locked them out of their rooms saying that he can do so because the Whistler covenant stipulates that their be a single manager, which to him means it must be him and on his terms.

Since these are Whistler’s rules he is using to justify the locking us out of our own property, we asked the City of Whistler for help. They said they didn’t want to get involved.

Well, we’d suggest that if Whistler won’t get involved when it’s their rules that are being abused that they are sending a message to current and potential Phase 2 property investors……you are on your own.

Doesn’t seem very investor friendly from the perspective of we Phase 2 unit owners. Others considering Whistler Phase 2 investments should proceed with caution.

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