The listing: 2380 Gondola Way, Whistler, B.C.
Asking price: $4.999-million
Taxes: $11,077.78 (2018)
Lot size: 0.27 acres
Agent: Maggi Thornhill, Engel and Völkers
The back story
Graham Stanley began hitting the slopes of Whistler, B.C. after a few years spent playing hockey in Ontario and teaching skiing in the Austrian resort town of Kitzbuhel.
Mr. Stanley went on to become the founder of Stanley Asset Management, where he manages money today under the umbrella of Canaccord Genuity in Vancouver.
Mr. Stanley bought his first property in Whistler in 1994. Over the years, he and his wife, Tyra, had three children. They kept up their weekend trips to the mountains and enrolled the kids in ski school and racing clubs.
“We’re a ski family,” Mr. Stanley says.
In 2009 they purchased their third Whistler vacation home at 2380 Gondola Way. The three-storey house sits at the top of a cul-de-sac in Bear Creek Estates.
Built in 2001, the 3,730-square-foot house offers ski-in and ski-out access to Whistler’s world-renowned runs.
At the time, the couple’s daughter and two sons ranged from about nine years old down to five or so.
Mr. Stanley says the children were impressed with the waterfall trickling down a wall in the foyer. They also enjoyed scrambling up a ladder to reach the sleeping loft in their bedroom.
“The kids were young and they loved it.”
Meanwhile, the parents were drawn to the open plan and modern design. In many areas of Whistler, builders have created ski chalets with choppy layouts, Mr. Stanley explains.
“They try to make as many bedrooms as possible.”
The couple also loved the vistas facing southwest towards the Tantalus Range of mountains.
“The views are spectacular,” Mr. Stanley says.
The house today
The main living area combines an open kitchen, dining area and lounging area with a stone fireplace. The wood floors and trim add to the chalet atmosphere.
The kitchen, with a large island clad in marble, has large windows with views into the trees.
Mr. Stanley says the layout works well for dinner soirées and fondue parties. The couple hosts a large get-together every year during the Christmas season.
“It’s pretty easy to have 40 to 50 people for a party.”
Summer parties on the back deck are also popular, he says.
A media room provides a cozy place for watching sports and movies.
Upstairs, the master suite has an ensuite bathroom and doors opening to a balcony. Two other bedrooms on that floor provide sleeping quarters for the kids.
There are also two bedrooms on the lower level and five bathrooms throughout the home.
Mr. Stanley says the family often invites the childrens’ friends and their parents.
The home is set in an estate that provides winter snow maintenance, summer landscaping and quick access to Whistler.
To ski in at the start of the day, the family steps into their skis and heads down to a staircase that provides a short-cut to the Creekside Gondola. They click the skis back on and head to the lift.
“In the morning you’re going downhill,” Mr. Stanley explains.
Winding down the mountain, the Lower Peak-to-Creek Trail leads right to the cul-de-sac. From there, his garage is about 10 steps away, Mr. Stanley says.
“It’s great to ski down and take a few steps into the garage and grab a beer at the end of the day.”
Mr. Stanley says much of the socializing in the area takes place on the lifts, as well as at the bars and restaurants in Whistler Village.
“Whistler is an international resort so when you’re going up the chairlift or the gondola, you meet people from all over the world.”
The area also provides lots of winter recreation that doesn’t involve a chairlift, Mr. Stanley says.
Traditional cross-country skiing is popular, he says, and a nearby skate skiing area is dog-friendly. Skiers take to the trails with their dogs running alongside, he says.
The family’s Labrador retriever loves to race around in the snow and their French bulldog often joins in too.
“I just walk out the door with the two dogs and they run up the hill and play.”
For the children, Mr. Stanley says an outing to nearby Green Lake is a refreshing alternative to online video games.
“The kids could skate for miles,” he says. “It’s a great way to get them off Fortnite.”
The Bear Creek Estates is an area that was once untamed, he says, and nature is always close by.
“Only once have I seen a bear – a huge bear – walk through our cul-de-sac. It was amazing how agile it was.”
Mr. Stanley adds that Whistler is, in many ways, even more enjoyable in the summer. The kids swim from the dock at two nearby lakes and the area is full of mountain biking trails.
Mr. Stanley often pedals his road bike on a 90-minute loop through the Callaghan Valley.
“You see lots of bears along that road,” he says.
Nearby Whistler Village has shopping, bars and restaurants.
“The nice thing about Whistler is you’re removed from the city. If you want to go into the village and party, you can do that, and if you want to immerse yourself in nature, you can do that.”
Now that the kids are in their teens, Mr. Stanley says, the family’s weekends can be packed with as many as 17 events.
Today the teams of all three kids are constantly travelling to out-of-town ice hockey and field hockey tournaments.
Mr. Stanley recalls a recent weekend when he was with one child at one tournament in Medicine Hat, while his wife was with another in Seattle. They had to enlist a grandmother to take their third child to a match in Vancouver.
With such an intense schedule, the family has little time to spend at their vacation home.
The best feature
Mr. Stanley had the old deck and gazebo torn down and a new, expanded deck made of composite material installed. The work involved creating strong footings for a new hot tub and building a retaining wall at the rear of the property.
There’s also a fire pit and lounging area.
Mr. Stanley says the outdoor space is his favourite place to unwind.
“There’s nothing better at the end of the day than having a glass of wine and a hot tub.”
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