Whistler is both a small town and a medium-sized town. The permanent population is just over10,000, but when the many hotels are full, there can be as many as 50,000 staying here.
Whistler’s main industry is tourism. Because it attracts many visitors, it is an important source of revenue for British Columbia.
Whistler is known as a transient town. Up to 2,000 people arrive in Whistler before the winter season, all looking for work and housing. Nowadays, it can be difficult to find affordable housing for permanent Whistlerites. The success of the Olympic Games and increases in visitors year round since then, have meant many jobs are available, but housing is in short supply.
Pemberton is approximately 35km north of Whistler. It is a very family friendly town. Many families with young children have moved there as housing is generally cheaper than in Whistler, while it is close enough to travel to work in Whistler. The increasing numbers of young families moving into the area are from a huge diversity of cultures, and as a result there are a wide variety of services aimed at babies, toddlers and school aged children. The town centre is relatively small with a population of about 2,000, but there is a larger population spread out along the Pemberton valley. The town has a heritage of farming and agriculture and is generally at a slower pace than Whistler.