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Thursday, December 3, 2015

We Need to Talk about Whistler... #RealApresSki

A few months ago, I was walking through the village and saw a woman that looked rather... out of place, I think would be the best way to say it. Where most of us had shorts, t-shirts, and toques (yeah, I don't get it) for the early summer months, she was wearing a silk scarf, shiny black pants that Aritzia sold to every woman in her 20s that I've ever met, and 4 inch heels.
My very first thought - and this is not a comedic exaggeration - was " Oh, so that's what a hooker looks like!" I was surprised to see a streetwalker (stroll-walker?) so flagrantly showing herself in the daylight, I had to see who would be the John.
As it turned out, she walked back and forth across the stroll in front of Araxi. It was only after a few minutes of sitting on a patio that I saw the cameras and lightboxes.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and the Dumpster Fire Full of Used Diapers known as "Aprés Ski" is playing on Bravo. It's apparently a show about some people from Los Angeles trying to tell rich folks what the best things to do in "their" town. Lynsey Dyer is in it, and she doesn't count. I love what she's done for her sport, but take this crap back to Idaho. I watched the trailer when it first hit social media, and vowed never to watch a full episode. I have a laptop, you see, and it's surprisingly easy to throw through a living room window once the red mist takes over my vision.
This post isn't just about bad television (although it easily could be). It's a slap in the face to the ski industry as we know it.
I've hit 10 years living in this little town, and I'm nowhere near the longest resident. I mean, my last residence saw me living next to Ornulf Johnsen, Whistler's first ski school director. Since this became a ski resort, we've seen naked people at Toad Hall, aprés revelers hanging from the rafters (sometimes naked), drank to excess, hid from the judging eyes of society in our little valley... and now it's cool to aprés, because Gibbons Life says so.

Only they say it tragically wrong. To say that "aprés" is dining in the Peak to Peak, for example, is a luxury that a minute percentage of customers will be able to afford and enjoy. Meanwhile, all us sweaty ski dogs are having a damn good time with less money. Happiness is a barbecue, not a palatial feast.

Oh yeah, and there's another fun little facet to this story. People have been speaking out on Facebook (rightly so) about the quality of the series, only to be private messaged by people who work for the company. All of the responses are the same, and almost verbatim repeated: "Say what you want about the show. It will bring more guests to the resort, which means more tips in your pocket, you slovenly bartender peon."

(I may have paraphrased.)

First of all, the people you're trying to attract are rich. Rich people didn't get that way by giving their money away, so I've found less wealthy customers that are willing to tip more, than stingy bastards who drop 10% for exceptional service and expect me to be grateful. (And yes - exceptional. Service staff always get the heads up that a customer is a VIP.)

Secondly, no it won't. There's already been one family who saw this show and cancelled their annual trip to Whistler, choosing instead to visit Banff. These people - families - shell out tens of thousands just for a week of skiing, and there are more of those customers than the elite spenders. That's why they're referred to as the One Goddamn Percent.

Finally, I welcome the messages from people in the Gibbons Company to send me that same tired message. At the end of the day, this is Canada, a progressive country with freedom of speech. I am fully allowed and even encouraged to speak about things on my mind, and I'm allowed to say that "Aprés Ski" can chow down on a Hefty bag of dicks, just like Bravo, Gibbons, and anyone else is free to shit in their own hat if they don't like my opinion.

With that in mind, I'm spearheading a hashtag movement. #RealApresSki is the name of the game, and I want to see it all over the Social Media. Having fun with your friends after the hill? Aprés going on longer than expected but not in a bad way? I salute you, you glorious motherfucker. Naked in the snow? You magnificent bastard. Show me. Better yet, show them what Aprés really is.

As an advanced thanks, here is a photo of a me and a couple of friends during an epic 13 hour aprés we named "Doublé Aprés":

May you be ever inspired.

My thoughts and prayers are with the PR team for this excuse of a television show.