The heart of Whistler Village could receive a lively new addition to its entertainment and dining offerings that will help enforce the resort as a year-round destination beyond the slopes.
Calgary-based Concorde Entertainment Group’s (CEG) National Beerhall chain is seeking permission from the Resort Municipality of Whistler to transform the long-vacated AlpenRock House space at 4295 Blackcomb Way – next to the Pan Pacific Whistler and Imagine Cinemas Village 8 – into a bowling alley, games facility, restaurant, and bar.
The 21,500-sq-ft proposal spans two levels, with the restaurant functions occupying the main plaza level and the bowling alley and games facility located within the lower level. Food and beverage areas on both levels will have a combined seating capacity of 616 seats.
The main restaurant area will have a 183-seat interior, a 69-seat lounge, and a 75-seat outdoor patio, which will have a covered roof structure that takes up a portion of Village Common plaza.
One level down, the 13,000-sq-ft entertainment space will have eight bowling lanes and an arcade and games area with billiards, ping-pong, foosball, skee-ball, hoops, and other games. Seating areas within this entertainment space total 289 seats under liquor primary licensing.
This underground level has been left vacant since AlpenRock House shut down in 2002, and an existing covenant of the underground space allows uses like a nightclub.
Artistic renderings provided to Daily Hive show a contemporary rustic interior design that extensively uses wood materials.
Such an establishment could be a fitting addition to the resort due to rising demand. Record tourism levels in recent years have led to long waits at restaurants during the peak season, and indoor activity options are limited during poor weather conditions.
“This opportunity and location was presented to us as part of our national expansion plan and it seemed a natural fit from the get go,” Brad Morrison, the COO of CEG, told Daily Hive.
“As there are currently very limited indoor recreational options in Whistler and no bowling facility, we feel this concept will resonate very well not only with local friends and families but also with visitors as well.”
The buildings at Whistler Village Centre were constructed in the early 1990s, and previous proposals for the underground space included a 24 to 30 lane bowling facility and a health and fitness spa, as well as a licensed sports lounge.
In 2007, London Drugs applied to open a store in the space, but it was rejected by the Municipal Council.
AlpenRock House opened in the space in the late 1990s as a Swiss-themed entertainment destination with bowling, billiards, arcade games, and three liquor licensed areas with a total seating capacity of 530 seats.
The main plaza level has seen a number of businesses such as Eddie Bauer, Grassroots Pizza, and smaller retailers, but this space has been vacant over recent years.
National Beerhall’s proposal entails using 174 parking spaces in the complex, and it anticipates it will employ up to 73 people during the peak season. Given the “critical” nature of housing in Whistler, the municipal government has requested the proponent to come up with housing options for its employees.
If approved, this would be National Beerhall’s fifth location and its first location outside of Calgary. Its parent company, CEG, operates a total of 13 establishment brands in Alberta.