Welcome to Whistler
Located in beautiful British Columbia, Whistler is a world-class resort town featuring some of the best skiing and mountain biking on earth. We have all of the convenience of a large town while still keeping a small-town sense o pride and community. Here you can find panoramic views of mountains and lakes. Whistler has a permanent population of around 12,000.people, this can feel much larger at times due to the 3 million tourists who visit each year. Whistler offers quick access to Vancouver (90-minute drive) and to Squamish (45 minutes drive). We see peak tourism in the wintertime between January-March and in the summers late June-August. Whether you are looking to invest or live full-time Whistler is a great option!
What is Zoning?
Zoning is set out by the municipality to help control the use of land. From a real estate perspective, this will mean that certain properties may only be occupied in certain ways. We have made this information booklet to help you understand the regulations and uses of Whistler properties and zoning categories. Our team can help you understand the options available to you with any property that interests you.
Phase 1- “unlimited ownership”
Phase 1 zoning is truly an investor’s dream.Often referred to as “unlimited ownership”, Phase 1 properties have the flexibility to be rented or occupied however the owner would like. This is the only type of property in Whistler that allows for nightly rentals, like Air B&B or VRBO. These properties will almost exclusively be found in the Village, Benchlands, and Creekside. They generate the highest potential return on investment and are, therefore, more highly sought after. Because of this, you can expect to buy at a higher price point than comparable properties that are zoned as employee housing or residential. This type of zoning can also be referred to as TA (tourist accommodation), and also from time to time LUC (land use contract).
Phase 2 properties, also known as hotel ownerships are very common in whistler. With phase 2 properties, owners can enjoy a true resort vacation experience or use their property to generate revenues. Each hotel has a slightly different structure on how owners can book their rooms or how revenues are divided. In general, owners are entitled to a total of 56 days each year, 28 in the winter and 28 in the summer. Owners may choose to not use days and instead keep their property in the rental pool to generate higher returns. Certain larger “brand name” hotels, like The Four Seasons, The Westin, The Pan Pacific, and The Delta tend to attract more guests and offer some of the highest revenues.
Residential zoning is one of the more common restrictions which can be found in Whistler. Residential revenues are only available to be used for long-term rentals (at least 30 days) or for personal use. These properties make great long-term homes and personal vacation homes. Larger residential properties with multiple bedrooms may be a great investment as a rental for locals. Residential properties can be found in all of the neighborhoods in and surrounding Whistler.
Employee Housing “live and work”
Employee housing is a great option for anyone who is looking to live and work in Whistler. These properties are often priced far lower than similar properties. This is because the Employee housing restriction only allows for owners who are working in Whistler. This is to ensure that some properties are left in the housing pool for workers who are essential to keep business running. If you are purchasing an employee covenant house you will need to fill out the applicable municipal documents with a lawyer for review. If you are not working and living in the town you can be denied by the municipality. This process can take up to two weeks, so be sure to give yourself enough time to complete it.
Quarter share properties are a great option for getting into the Whistler market! Each quarter share owner owns and is entitled to use the property for a fourth of the time. Each building will run slightly differently, however, in general, these buildings will operate on a monthly rotation, alternating on an annual basis. This means that owners are entitled to a month each year and every four years will have the unit over the Christmas holidays. Owners may either choose to use the unit for personal use or to keep it in the rental pool during their allotted time. Return on investment is dependant on how much personal usage. We have four quarter share options in Whistler, Montebello 2, Evolution, Legends, and Hortsman House. There is also At Nature’s Door which is run by the Fairmont Hotel. This is a tenth share building which is a similar structure, the townhouses are larger and each owner has a 1/10th share of the home.
If you ever see a listing that interests you please reach out to our team and we can help guide you through all of the zoning and answer any questions you may have!