I would like to thank the residents of Whistler and Squamish for hosting the GrandFondo event on Sept. 8. I am sure that the traffic disruption required to put on a safe, enjoyable event caused some inconvenience for local residents and I greatly appreciate the patience and goodwill extended by the local community. It was a world-class event that Whistler should be proud of. Kudos to the organizers for a superb job.
This is the third year that I have ridden in the event — a beautiful day capped off with a swim in Lost Lake with my wife and 16-year-old son, who drove up that morning to cheer me on. It was a perfect day — almost.
I say almost because there was one aspect of the experience that I found extremely annoying. At the finish, I was looking forward to having some food and a cold beer, with my family. Unfortunately, I was forced to choose. I could have a beer, or be with my family — not both. To obtain the complimentary beer kindly provided by the event organizers, I was herded like a cow through a security checkpoint into a pen, but without the person I most wanted to be with, my son. I was obliged to huddle like a criminal with the other middle-aged men in Lycra gulping beer, while my family sat outside.
I appreciate the Liquor Control Board has legitimate concerns about allowing minors access to liquor served at adult-oriented events or venues such as concerts. Perhaps this policy even makes sense at jazz festivals. But at a daytime family sporting event? Only adults are allowed to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages at this event. So, why is this venue treated differently from a restaurant or sports arena, or other venue where alcohol is sold in a public setting with mixed age attendees?
I find it hard to imagine that many minors are willing to hang around with a bunch of sweaty, old farts wearing spandex (me included) on the off chance that this might somehow improve their chance of being served a beer (or, God forbid, a glass of wine!).
Just what is the danger from which the regulators are protecting me and my family?
I love B.C and suck out the marrow of life as often as I can. I try to show off this area with great pride to visitors. But I question whether we aren’t now being constrained by a legacy of archaic regulations that no longer serve any reasonable social purpose and prevent Whistler from taking the next step in becoming a world-class resort.
I would hope the regulators have the discretion and wisdom to make practical decisions to address this anomaly, without having to go through yet another lengthy process of review.