A particularly 'Canadian' retail centre is being re-merchandised in Whistler, British Columbia. Called Whistler Creekside Village, the 66,000 square foot centre will focus on independent retailers and emerging concepts, as opposed to multinational chains. Given that rents are about a quarter of what's charged in nearby Whistler Village, and given its exposure to affluent locals and visitors, some retailers may find Creekside to be strategic and profitable.
Technically, Creekside isn't a new phenomenon, given that it was Whistler's initial townsite. Whistler Village relocated to its present site in the 1960's, while Creekside Village continued to serve locals. Retail repositioning plans are now underway, recognizing Creekside's strategic location at the entrance to the Whistler area from Vancouver.
The area's market size is estimated to be 200,000 annually (including visitors), in effect making it one of B.C.'s largest retail trade areas. Four upscale hotels are nearby, boasting 350 rooms and 1,750 'pillows'. Visitors are estimated to spend $350 daily per person, providing lucrative opportunities for retailers. In total, an estimated 2.7 million unique visitors come to the four-seasons destination region, with 60% of those visiting during the summer season, providing year-round revenue opportunities.
The area is also home to about 10,000 full-time residents, 2,700 annual transient workers and 11,500 second-home owners. Creekside's adjacent residential areas are also among the most exclusive in the region, featuring multi-million dollar homes and even a residential area accessed via gondola.
Creekside Village is seeking to differentiate from Whistler Village by being "totally unique and/or uniquely Canadian", according to Retail real estate consultant Peter Morris of Greenstead Consulting Group. The 66,000 square foot centre boasts over 1,400 free surface and underground parking stalls, as well as heat-traced pedestrian walkways laid out in an easy-to-navigate, intimate village stroll. Existing tenants include a full-service grocer (Creekside Market), a B.C. Government Liquor Store, Scotiabank, Starbucks, CAN-SKI and other resort amenities. Canadian retailers and those carrying Canadian products (local diamonds, for example) will be considered first, as the centre looks to create a localized tenant mix which is unique to the area. Priority uses include the following:
-‘Signature’ style full service restaurant with lounge,
-craft brew gastropub,
-unisex adventure wear or resort wear,
-quick food service,
-healthy food service,
-salon and spa.
For more information on Whistler Creekside Village, you may contact Peter Morris at: 250-893-8230 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Creekside Village website at www.leasing.creeksidevillage.ca.