Whistler's first hotel - Crystal Lodge History
The Crystal Lodge exists today because of the foresight of the famous local skier, decorated as Canada's athlete of the century, Nancy Greene. In January of 1986 the Nancy Greene Olympic Lodge first opened its doors. The lodge was (and still very much is) the central accommodation in the then newly formed Whistler Village (Whistler village was originally located in what is now Creekside).
In 1988, this European style lodge was acquired by Vancouver‐based Burrard International – whose collection of championship golf courses in BC and Hawaii are promoted under the company GolfBC Group. GolfBC’s Nicklaus North Golf Course in Whistler opened in 1996, and we have been promoting our partnership ever since with some great golf packages available. Nicklaus North is a mere 5 minute drive north of our hotel, and offers an internationally recognized design, with services that set it apart from its competition.
What is known today as the ‘Crystal Lodge and Suites’ was initially two separate buildings. The subsequent purchase of the neighbouring ‘Crystal Lodge’, together with the Nancy Greene Olympic Lodge, is now the 'Crystal Lodge and Suites', spanning the Village Stroll from the Village square to Mountain square.
The current Crystal Lodge & Suites Lobby
The old lobby at the Crystal Lodge back in 2004
Moving forward to 2005, the Crystal underwent extensive renovations, featuring a new lobby with an architecturally beautiful two‐storey high ceiling and a grand staircase leading you to easy access of the shops, restaurants, night life and mountain gondolas along the Whistler Village Stroll. This current property certainly lives up to its tag line "at the centre of it all".
One of the most recent Whistler development under the Burrard International name is the Cypress Place estate at Nicklaus North. This urban development was awarded the Best Single Family Award at the Urban Development Institute – Pacific Region, Awards for Excellence. They also recently renovated what was Inn By the Lake in South Lake Tahoe and re-opened the property with a new name, Hotel Azure, and a new 3.5 million dollar look.
Things have definitely changed over the years and most of what you see in the video above from the Nancy Greene Lodge opening is not even recognisable today. However there are still traces of history if you look closely. Next time you come to stay at Whistlers first hotel "at the centre of it all" note the strange set of stairs in the middle of the hotel hallway. Those stairs were a key 'step' in the joining of the two hotels as part of the renovations in 2005.