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An Olympic Guide: The Best Après Spots in Whistler

So you’re heading to the Olympics in Whistler. Be prepared for deep snow (they’re already reporting one of the best seasons on record), world-class terrain, sporting, and revelry. Whether you’re celebrating an American victory or kicking up your boots after a day on the hill, Whistler’s watering holes elevate après to an Olympic level. Here’s a guide to the best après spots in Whistler.
posted: 01/25/2010
Whistler Bar

GLC: A legend in après ski lore, The Garibaldi Lift Co. (or GLC) will be the center of action during the Games. MuchMusic (MTV’s Canadian stepsister) will broadcast the festivities live each day from 2-3 pm and 7-9 pm. In between telecasts, music acts like the electro-funk duo Chromeo and the Hairfarmers, a popular local band whose repertoire includes over 3,000 covers, will rock the scene daily from 3:30-6:30 pm. GLC’s patio offers primo views of the village and the nightly Fire & Ice show—a spectacle featuring fire twirlers, skiers jumping through flaming rings, and large-scale pyrotechnics. Ski in, click out and get loose all within feet of the Whistler Village Gondola. Repeat.

Merlin’s: On the Blackcomb side, ski down to Merlin’s next to the Excalibur Gondola for cheap drink specials, live music, and Whistler’s best nachos. During the Games, Kokanee Beer will transform Merlin’s patio into the Kokanee Cabin with a massive tent adorned with timber, moose heads, plasma tvs, and bubbly promo girls dishing out cold brewskis. 

The Longhorn Saloon: Head to the country-themed Longhorn Saloon at the base of the Whistler and Blackcomb gondolas for mountain-sized margs, bar top dancing, and a huge deck with views of the surrounding peaks. Burton, Oakley, and various beer partners will sponsor a series of events open to the public during the Games. It’s a 3 pm kick off time for one of the wildest parties at the Games. Don’t be late.

Dubh Linn Gate: For Irish jigging, 20 oz pints of Guinness, and non-stop craic (that’s Irish for party), make your way to Dubh Linn Gate in the Pan Pacific at the base of Blackcomb. Celtic bands, generous bartenders, and Snake Bites (a lager and cider combo) make for a rowdy afternoon. For the Olympics, the pub will host a Red Bull and Molson outdoor bar and live Irish music thrice daily (12-1:30 pm, 3:30-5:30 pm and 8 pm-close). Bring your best Michael Flatley dance moves.

Buffalo Bills: More nightclub than bar, Buffalo Bills in Whistler Village sports a dance floor, international music talent, and prime time cougar poaching.

Jamaican Bobsled Team Hospitality House: For the “hottest thing on ice,” don’t miss the Jamaican Bobsled Team’s Hospitality House. They’re taking over the iconic Savage Beagle club in Blackcomb and styling it out with an irie island vibe. Mingle with the athletes made famous by Cool Runnings, skank to your favorite reggae beats, and quaff the best beer outside of Kingston. A portion of the proceeds will go towards funding the team’s Olympic aspirations.

*Note, much to the chagrin of locals and après die-hards, Dusty’s Bar & BBQ will be closed for the Olympics, taken hostage by the VANOC.

Freelance writer Kelley McMillan will be reporting on all-things Olympics for the next few weeks. Check out her blog here.

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