The problem isn't with Whistler, which I don't find particularly expensive compared to other large North American resorts. (I'm planning a CO ski vacation right now for next March and am having such sticker shock--if we weren't meeting family members from the midwest, I'd bag CO and just go to Whistler.)
The problem is that you live in Ft. Lauderdale. That's really, really far from Whistler (so high airline ticket costs). It's also a little early to be buying tickets for February--this isn't always the case, but often times, fares are higher 6 months or so in advance, and they come down closer to the date (not too close though).
I think you can do Whistler much cheaper, but this is what I'd do: Wait for a good airfare. Sign up for airfare alerts from Travelocity, emails from whatever airlline you'd fly to Vancouver, and search regularly on your own. Do a condo rental from alluradirect.com--it's like VRBO and has a great selection of Whistler properties. I guarantee you can come in well under what your club trip is.
|My concern with Whistler over the next few years is that if folks think it's expensive now ... just wait and see what the Winter Olympic thing is going to do to pricing !
I talked to a Whistler rep recently and they are afraid no one is going to visit all year 2009-10, because everyone thinks it will be so expensive and crazy (when it will really only be expensive and crazy for the 2 Olympic weeks). Apparently all Olympic cities have this problem--no one visits during the Olympic year because they think too many others will be there.