Where are the Benchlands?
The Benchlands is an area in Whistler, that was developed in the eighties. The area was designated as prime real estate as it was within walking distance of Whistler Village. In addition, the Benchlands had developments slopeside on Blackcomb Mountain, and developments linked by a network of paths to allow easier access to the slopes. It was deemed by the council of the day, that this prime location would be where the tourists would want to rent, so it was all zoned for nightly rental. The council was right.
The best way to understand the Benchlands is to look at the civic maps courtesy of the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW). The pink border delineates the boundary of the Benchlands. On their civic address maps the RMOW divided the Benchlands into two areas. Most local residents including local real estate agents, refer only to the Benchlands, not Benchlands North and Benchlands South. In addition, when a real estate agent refers to the Benchlands, they will typically be referring to real estate in the Benchlands.
It is interesting to note, that all the property developments labeled within the pink border are zoned for some type of tourist accommodation. The exception is Horstman Estates. However, when Horstman Estates was developed it was “partially” zoned for tourist accommodation. Since the eighties, the increase in property value has resulted in a decrease in the number of houses actively using their tourist accommodation zoning. Therefore, when the opportunity arose in 2022 to secure the Horstman Estates development as residential, there was little opposition.
The free bus service runs through Benchlands North and in winter the service is every 15 minutes, with a different schedule in summer. It serves all the tourists traveling to and from the Village or the slopes. This is a terrific service that operates year-round. Click bctransit.com/whistler and look for route 5, the Whistler Upper Village/Benchlands shuttle.
The biggest change to this RMOW civic map is the Wizard Express Chair was replaced in 2019 with the Blackcomb Gondola. However, not much else has changed. A noticeable difference is the mixed development on this map. Yes, there is tourist accommodation, but there are many other types of buildings and land purposes.
The properties that might rely on a bus service are Cedar Hollow, Cedar Ridge, and Pinnacle Ridge. The bus servicing Glacier Drive is not a free service, but it is a regular service. This route along Glacier Drive services staff who live in staff housing and staff who work at Base 2 where the Excalibur Gondola mid-station is located. Glacier Drive does not have a sidewalk so it is not recommended to walk along it. Summit Lane residents are within a safe walking distance of that mid-station, so they would typically use the Excalibur Gondola to travel to and from Whistler Village.
If you think I would be a good fit to work with you and your family, and you are not working with a Whistler realtor, please contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.
It’s a Good Life in Whistler!
Marion Anderson Personal Real Estate Corporation
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