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February 15, 2019, 10:33 am

Whistler Requires Business Licences for All Accommodation Marketed to Tourists

Resort Municipality of Whistler

WHISTLER - The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) and Tourism Whistler are reminding all owners of short term rentals to ensure they have a business licence to market nightly accommodation to tourists.
 
Whistler has strict zoning in place that regulates which properties can offer accommodations to tourists. Since July 2017, any properties advertising short term accommodation to tourists must have a business licence from the RMOW. Properties are only given a business licence if they are zoned for tourist accommodation. Properties that offer tourist accommodation without a business licence will be ticketed and shut down, forcing owners to cancel bookings.
 
Tourist accommodation is regulated in Whistler to protect the viability of Whistler’s tourist accommodation sector and to ensure an appropriate supply of employee housing in residential neighbourhoods.
 
Addressing short-term illegal rentals is a priority for us. Whistler welcomes our visitors to enjoy our community and choose the type of accommodation that best suits them,” said Jack Crompton, Mayor of Whistler. “However, the RMOW actively investigates illegal rentals and requires all short term rentals to have a business licence. We ticket accommodations that are advertising nightly rentals and do not have their business licence.”
 
Whistler’s new bylaw adjudication system, adopted last March, allows the RMOW to enforce Whistler’s Tourism Accommodation Bylaw by issuing bylaw notices to anyone advertising a property that is not zoned for nightly accommodation. To date, Bylaw Services has written more than 30 notices for illegally marketed properties resulting in fines of $500 per notice.
 
An individual vacation rental owner whose unit is marketed solely through a property manager is covered under the property manager’s licence. Owners conducting any advertising or rental activity independently are required to have a business licence, whether or not they are also using property management services. Only one licence is required per owner, even if they own multiple units however there is a $10 additional charge for each additional unit.
 
Owners of properties that are zoned for nightly tourism accommodation can apply for their business licence at www.whistler.ca/TAbusinesslicence
 
Prospective guests can check if their accommodation is legal by requesting a business licence number from the owner. Business licences can be checked with the RMOW by contacting the Bylaw department through their contact information found at www.whistler.ca/bylaw
 
Whistler was built on a plan that thoughtfully and strategically set out overall land use and development including its unique accommodation mix. In contrast to other communities, Whistler has a wide range of properties zoned for short-term, temporary tourist accommodation in non-residential neighbourhoods, with approximately 8,800 accommodation units in hotels, lodges, inns, condos, townhomes, detached dwellings, bed and breakfasts, pension, hostels and RV and camp sites.  
For more information about Whistler’s tourism accommodation visit www.whistler.ca/touristaccommodation 
 
About the Resort Municipality of Whistler
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is a destination resort community, local government organization and leader in providing municipal programs, services, progressive planning and infrastructure for almost 12,000 residents and three million annual visitors. Situated in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Whistler was the Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Our vision: to be the premier mountain resort community as we move towards sustainability.
 
Media Inquiries
Resort Municipality of Whistler Communications | 604-967-3030 | media@whistler.ca

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