Alder, Peter

Identity area

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Authorized form of name

Alder, Peter

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Description area

Dates of existence

fl. 1956-


Peter Alder first came to the Whistler valley working for BC Hydro in 1956, working on installing the powerlines and bringing electricity to the valley. He was also involved in founding a ski club in Squamish, and with putting a rope tow on St. Paul's Ridge in Garibaldi Park. He founded Peter Alder Company, or "Paco," which is where Squamish's Paco Road got its name. The company's subsidiaries, Paco Building Supplies and Paco Cement, both flourished, with the PGE Railroad being an important customer of the cement company. The new highway connecting Squamish to Vancouver — completed in 1959 — helped keep the building supply company busy. The lineage of both of Peter's companies can still be traced today. Paco Cement is now Cardinal Concrete while Paco Building Supplies became Garibaldi Building Supplies and later Mountain Building Centres. In 2006 Rona acquired Mountain Building Centres. Peter and eight other investors each put $2,000 down and bought the Jordan's property between Alpha and Nita Lake, a property which Franz Wilhelmsen thought his company Garibaldi Lifts Ltd. already owned, despite this option expiring when Whistler lost the 1968 Canadian bid for the Olympics to Banff. This created a rift between the two men.

After this first encounter, there was a long interval away from Whistler during which Peter managed Red Mountain in Rossland, Silver Star Resort in Vernon, and worked for the Ministry of Transportation in the lift inspection department. He also was a key player in creating the B.C. Alpine Commercial Ski Area Policy. This policy governed the development of mountain resorts and had a huge impact on the success of the ski industry in B.C., including Whistler Mountain. In 1978, he returned to Whistler to manage Whistler Mountain at a very interesting time in its history. Approval for the development of Blackcomb Mountain had been given and Whistler Mountain had some serious competition. Peter pressed hard for the development of the north side of Whistler Mountain, often against significant resistance from board members, who didn't want anything to do with the new development on the other side of their mountain. Luckily, Peter's vision prevailed and the north side was developed. Peter left Whistler Mountain in 1984 to head the Whistler Resort Association (now known as Tourism Whistler) through the turbulent time of the 1980s' recession. He then went on to join Paul Mathews - who he had employed to do the first master plan for Whistler Mountain - at Ecosign. He became a globetrotting ski resort consultant, helping resorts all over the world create master plans and fulfill their potential as ski areas. He is married to Trudy Alder and has received the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Chamber of Commerce's Whistler Excellence Awards.


Rossland, BC
Vernon, BC

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Business owner
Ski resort manager
Ski resort consultant
Mountain planner

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

Alder, Trudy (fl. 1960s-present)

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Related entity

Garibaldi Recreations Ltd. (1962-[1967?])

Identifier of related entity


Category of relationship


Type of relationship

Garibaldi Recreations Ltd.

is the superior of

Alder, Peter

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised November 2017.




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