Business Casual: A Guide to Planning a Corporate Event in Whistler
The past two years have been interesting for those who had to adapt to working from home daily, and the only time they interacted with others was through Zoom meetings. Luckily, those days are largely behind us and Whistler corporate events are back.
Planning a corporate event in Whistler has its advantages. There are lots of hotels to choose from, catering is available, and many team-bonding activities are located in the heart of the village.
Before choosing any of those things, though, we need to figure out how you will get your guests to Whistler.
Transportation Options for Corporate Events: Vancouver to Whistler
The Sea to Sky Highway is the only way to travel by land from Vancouver to Whistler. In a private car, this trip should take around two hours from the Downtown Vancouver to Whistler Village.
If you are travelling solo or this will be your first time driving the Sea to Sky Highway, you might prefer to travel by bus. This way, you don’t have to worry about navigating any bad weather and can take in the views along the way.
Many shuttle providers offer daily transportation from Vancouver to Whistler, including pick-up from Vancouver Airport. All the services provide comfortable coach rides, are incredibly reliable, and include free WiFi.
Depending on the company, one-way fares start at $27 per person and $37 for a round trip.
Are you looking to travel up on your own time? Then a private rental will be the best option for you.
The Sea to Sky has many reasons to drive up on your own schedule, such as waterfalls, national parks, and adventure attractions along the way. Hiring a car is the perfect way to experience them all.
There is only one car rental company in Whistler if you are looking to only rent on the day up and then again on the day back. Whistler Avis Car Rental is located in the Cascade Lodge and offers van, economy car, and standard SUV rentals.
If you’re flying into Vancouver Airport, there are plenty of on-site car rental options, such as Budget, Hertz, and Avis.
Car Sharing (Evo)
Another option for car rentals is hiring a compact car through the Evo car share app. Located around Vancouver, these cars are unlocked through the app and ready for you to use.
You will only pay for what you use, and rates are 4 cents per minute or $99 a day. There are no caps or limits on the kilometres used, and their rates include gas, insurance, and parking.
Accommodations for Corporate Events in Whistler
When visiting Whistler, where you stay can make or break your trip. There are many accommodations to choose from, and they each offer something a little bit different.
Hotels in Whistler are familiar with hosting corporate events and have ensured they are well equipped to facilitate most requests. However, these are the top three that stand out amongst the rest.
Fairmont Chateau Whistler
One thing is sure when staying at a Fairmont: world-class service. And Fairmont Chateau Whistler is no exception, as state-of-the-art services support their meeting facilities.
Located in the Whistler Upper Village at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, the Chateau offers over 3,000 square metres of meeting space and 12 function rooms that can be customised to host from 10 to 1,500 delegates at a time.
The hotel has 519 rooms on offer, from regular suites and guest rooms to their branded Fairmont Gold rooms that showcase true luxury. There is also a spa on site, an outdoor pool and hot tub, and six dining options, including in-room dining.
Hilton Whistler Resort and Spa
A well-known chain across the world for a reason, the Hilton Whistler Resort and Spa is a go-to for a lot of corporate events in Whistler for accommodation.
Guests will find it easy to relax and unwind with the on-site Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa, the only authentic Royal Javanese Spa in North America. The Cinnamon Bear Grille also offers hearty meals and craft beer on tap for those looking to relax after a long day of networking.
Their three event rooms and seven meeting rooms allow for on-site events in the hotel, limiting the need for guests to walk long distances between the function and the guest room.
Located in the heart of the Whistler Village, this independent hotel stands tall with the large chain hotels when it comes to Whistler corporate getaways.
On offer are three function rooms in the hotel that are fully equipped with everything needed to host an event or meeting.
The hotel has various guest rooms ranging from traditional hotel rooms to luxurious studios and suites. The on-site sauna, outdoor heated pool, and hot tub area are delightful add-ons, and for those bringing up either bikes or skis, there is complimentary equipment valet and storage.
Catering Options for Your Next Corporate Event
Now that your guests have transportation from Vancouver to Whistler and their accommodation sorted, you will need to consider catering your event.
If you are looking to host the event in the same hotel as your guests are staying, we recommend that you select a hotel that can cater too.
Not all Whistler hotels offer catering for events. However, they will allow catering companies to provide that service on their behalf.
The most commonly used service in Whistler for catering is Whistler Cooks. The culinary team behind Whistler Cooks pride themselves on using local ingredients in all of their dishes to provide high-quality meals.
Depending on your needs, they will happily cater for breakfast, lunch, dinner, small bites and platters, and BBQs.
No event is too big for the team at Whistler Cooks. During the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, they provided 500,000 meals in 28 days over four venues. Since then, they have been catering for events such as Ironman, Tough Mudder, and the GranFondo Whistler.
Extracurriculars: Add-on Activities for Your Event
One of the main reasons people want to attend a corporate event in Whistler is the activities available in their downtime. There is truly something for everyone in Whistler, from team-bonding activities to solo adventures.
Escape! Whistler offers four different scenarios with puzzles and gadgets to bring out your inner Sherlock Holmes as your team spends 45 minutes trying to escape. This is a great team-building exercise to encourage everyone to work together.
Find your secret lumberjack in the group as you compete in teams to see who has a knack for throwing axes. The Forged Axe Throwing team will show you everything you need to know to score a perfect bullseye, including many fun games.
Learn the history and the art of brew making at Whistler Brewing Company. Famous for their Honey Larger and Chestnut Ale, these beers are local favourites. They also offer meals and have a lot of outdoor seating in case it’s a beautiful day.
Get the adrenaline pumping year-round as you fly through the valley from mountain to mountain with Ziptrek Eco Tours. This is for team members looking for adrenaline and high-speed action. All lines are connected by a network of suspension bridges, boardwalks, and trails, giving you fantastic views of Whistler and the surrounding forest.
Split into smaller teams and then snake your way around Whistler, discovering its sights and history. Make sure everyone has one budding photographer ready to add proof and collect photos for your official retreat Instagram account. #scavengerhuntwhistler
In Summer, head out into the remote wilderness of the Callaghan Valley. Explore the 4×4 trails and the surrounding muddy puddles as you pair up and take turns driving through some enjoyable terrain. Canadian Wilderness have very experienced guides who know how to have fun and keep it rubber side down.
With three excellent courses to choose from in the Sea to Sky corridor, Golf is a great way to fill a summer day with a friendly tournament.
Whistler is home to these fantastic world-class courses: Nicklaus North Golf Course, Whistler Golf Course, and Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club. All courses provide stunning views, challenging play, and plenty of time to get to know your cart buddy.
Paired with breakfast or apres-golf dinner, this is a traditional full-day event for your team.
Whistler, an Amazing Corporate Event Destination
Planning a corporate event in Whistler can be extremely simple compared to other locations.
With access to shuttles and car rentals, a large selection of hotels that offer meeting and event space, and endless activities to kill time with, all within two and half hours of an international airport, Whistler is hard to beat.