A Great Canadian Tool
I mention this after spending several days at British Columbia’s splendid Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort - Intrawest's signature project. After marveling at how much the ski experience had evolved (from years ago when the idea of post-skiing entertainment was grabbing a luke-warm cup of hot chocolate on a big wooden picnic bench), I realized that this place was very business-friendly. There were major conference centers that seamlessly handled a steady flow of large-scale industry get-togethers, as well as office centers nestled in the heart of the village. I got into the spirit of things and used the trip as a chance to not only to reconnect with parts of my body I was acquainted with when I did ski, but also to catch up good friends and colleagues who had gathered from all over North America. It was the perfect opportunity to exchange new ideas, get updated on new technologies and pave a path for business development on the near horizon. In the midst of all this, it occurred to me at some point that a place like this very much aligned with the broader themes of what we discuss in this blog.
In an era of shrinking distances, cheap airfares, and connectivity (wireless connectivity everywhere - can’t tell you how many folks I saw on chairlifts or rest stops working away on their blackberries, or treos), places like Whistler can indeed provide a window into the future that lies ahead. Communities such as this compellingly prove that large urban centers are not the only places where business can thrive. In fact, they can thrive in places that just a few years ago were inconceivable - a chairlift, the lobby of a well-appointed ski lodge, or adjacent to a granite facing of a peak 8,000 feet up in the air. A great Canadian tool indeed.