$18 MILLION CAPITAL EXPANSION FUELS STOKE FOR 2013.2014 WINTER SEASON AT WHISTLER BLACKCOMB

WHISTLER, BC September 4, 2013 – As the countdown to winter begins across the northern hemisphere, Whistler Blackcomb is preparing for the 2013.2014 ski season which will be defined by the resort’s first major capital expansion project since the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola in 2008. Whistler Blackcomb will be introducing two new chairlifts for the upcoming ski season - the new Harmony 6 Express high-speed six pack on Whistler Mountain and the new Crystal Ridge Express high-speed quad on Blackcomb Mountain. The new lifts will dramatically increase uphill skier carrying capacity and enhance the overall ski experience in two of Whistler Blackcomb’s most iconic zones.

“At Whistler Blackcomb we are committed to progression and are always looking for new ways to ensure our guests are having the best possible experiences on our mountains,” says Dave Brownlie, President and Chief Executive Officer, Whistler Blackcomb. “We are extremely excited to introduce the new Harmony 6 Express and the new Crystal Ridge Express this winter. These new lifts will better service two much loved areas of our resort and will solidify why Whistler Blackcomb is consistently rated the number one ski resort in North America.”

NEW Harmony 6 Express Chair on Whistler Mountain
In January 2013, Whistler Blackcomb announced the existing Harmony high-speed, quad chairlift on Whistler Mountain would be replaced with a new Doppelmayr high-speed, detachable, six-pack chairlift for the 2013.2014 ski season. The new Harmony 6 high-speed chairlift will be capable of transporting six people on each chair and will increase the uphill skier capacity by 50 per cent; going from 2,400 skiers per hour to 3,600. The Harmony 6 chair will keep the same alignment as the previous Harmony lift and will continue to service terrain spanning from the edge of the Symphony Amphitheatre all the way over to Glacier Bowl, adjacent to the Peak Express. This area, known as the Harmony Zone, makes up over 485 hectares (1,200 acres) of Whistler Blackcomb’s 3,306 hectares (8,171 acres) of total terrain.

NEW Crystal Ridge Express Chair on Blackcomb Mountain
The new Crystal Ridge Express, also announced in January 2013, will provide a dramatic transformation to the skiing and riding experience on Blackcomb Mountain. The new Crystal Ridge Express high-speed quad chairlift in the Crystal Zone will continue to deliver skiers and riders to an elevation of1,827 metres (5,994ft) next to the Crystal Hut, however the aspect of the new lift line is dramatically different, and will originate 158 metres (518ft) lower than the previous Crystal triple chair. The new bottom terminal location along the Blackcomb Glacier Road ski-out eliminates the need to utilize the Excelerator Chair to access many Crystal Zone trails including Ridge Runner, Rock ‘N’ Roll, and gladed trails like Outer Limits. This new lift alignment will also make it even quicker for guests to return to the Glacier Express chair in order to access Horstman Glacier, Blackcomb Glacier and Spanky’s Ladder.

The new Crystal Ridge Express will be 1,708 metres (5,604ft) in length, with a vertical rise of 535 metres (1,755ft) and will increase skier carrying capacity from 1,800 skiers per hour to 2,400. 

For more information about Whistler Blackcomb’s two new chairs for the 2013.2014 winter season, visit: www.whistlerblackcomb.com/the-mountain/new-lifts

Snowmaking Upgrades in the Crystal Zone
In conjunction with the construction of the new Crystal Ridge Express chair on Blackcomb Mountain, Whistler Blackcomb has also invested $3 million into a comprehensive snowmaking upgrade in the Crystal Zone. The Crystal Zone is an extremely popular area on Blackcomb, renowned for its powder stashes, undulating cruisers, and gladed tree runs riddled with natural terrain features. Until now, there has been no snowmaking at all in the Crystal Zone. The improved snowmaking infrastructure in this area will ensure guests are able to ski the new Crystal Ridge Express lift top to bottom as soon as the new lift opens for the 2013.2014 ski season. It will also ensure great skiing conditions mid-mountain on days when the alpine does not open due to avalanche risk or stormy weather.

Whistler Blackcomb Joins The Mountain Collective
New for the 2013.2013 winter season, Whistler Blackcomb has joined the roster of premier ski destinations embodying The Mountain Collective. The Mountain Collective is a one of a kind ski pass that includes two days of skiing at any of the six iconic Mountain Collective resorts as well as additional perks, including 50 per cent off additional ski days and 25 per cent off lodging at The Collective destinations. In addition to Whistler Blackcomb, The Mountain Collective collaboration includes Mammoth Mountain, Snowbird, Alta, Aspen/Snowmass, Jackson Hole, and Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows. For more information about The Mountain Collective, visit www.themountaincollective.com.

Ski With An Olympian Program
With the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics right around the corner, Whistler Blackcomb will celebrate its Olympic legacy from hosting the 2010 Games with the return of its “Ski With An Olympian” Snow School program. Initially introduced mid ski season last year, the ‘Ski With An Olympian” program is Whistler Blackcomb Snow School’s most elite product and offers guests the chance to hire an Olympic athlete to be their own personal guide. This exclusive program includes a full-day of skiing or riding guided by an Olympic athlete, with capacity capped at five people per group, and like all other Snow School lessons, the ‘Ski With An Olympian” program also gives guests lift line priority.

The International Freeski Film Festival (IF3) Comes to Whistler
The International Freeski Film Festival (IF3) will be making a stop at Whistler Blackcomb this year on Saturday, October 12, 2013. The one-day event will feature premieres of the year’s best ski movies, along with a retro ski-themed kick-off party and a rocker-themed wrap up amidst Whistler’s wild nightlife scene. The premieres will be held at Millennium Place, in the heart of Whistler Village, and will take place alongside Whistler Blackcomb’s legendary Turkey Sale, where over 20,000 people descend on Whistler to take advantage of huge pre-season savings on ski and snowboard equipment from the industry’s top brands.

PEAK 2 PEAK Five Year Anniversary
On December 12, 2013 Whistler Blackcomb’s iconic PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola will celebrate its fifth anniversary. Connecting the Whistler and Blackcomb alpines, the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola opened in 2008 and redefined both the skiing and sightseeing experiences at Whistler Blackcomb. Not only does the gondola allow guests to ski/ride both mountains in a single day, it provides sightseers with the opportunity to take in the same breathtaking 360 degree views the skiers/riders get as they travel around Whistler Blackcomb’s expansive alpine terrain. Five years after opening, the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola has become one of Whistler’s signature experiences and continues to hold claim to three world-records, including the highest lift of its kind at 436m (1,427ft) above the valley floor, longest unsupported span of 3.024km (1.879mi), and it completes the longest continuous lift system in the world.

New this year, Whistler Blackcomb has introduced the PEAK 2 PEAK Viewing Gallery, a raised walkway located in the PEAK 2 PEAK terminal on Whistler Mountain designed to provide guests with a birds-eye view of the gondola’s record-breaking engineering and technology. The Viewing Gallery also includes interactive video tablets where guests can watch videos showcasing the construction of the gondola towers, cable installation, facts and statistics, and the history of Whistler Blackcomb.

The Wonder Continues
The celebration of Wonder will continue at Whistler Blackcomb for 2013.2014 with Season 2 of The Wonder Reels, a seven part video series that will be released throughout the winter. Season 2 of The Wonder Reels was filmed, edited, and produced by one of the industry’s top production companies, Switchback Entertainment, and will premiere on August 27 to fuel stoke for the upcoming ski season.

Whistler Blackcomb will also be introducing two new Wonder Routes in 2013.2014 designed to provide the ideal sample tour of the Crystal Zone on Blackcomb Mountain and the Harmony Zone on Whistler. The Crystal and Harmony Wonder Routes will include a mix of steeps, glade runs and mild cruisers to showcase the variety of terrain in these two iconic zones.

For those guests who would like to experience the wonder of Whistler Blackcomb first hand, the Seven Days of Wonder contest was just launched and will provide guests with an opportunity to win a dream ski vacation to Whistler Blackcomb during the upcoming ski season. More information about the Seven Days of Wonder Contest and the Whistler Blackcomb’s entire Wonder campaign can be found at www.whistlerblackcomb.com/wonder.

Book Early & Save – If booked before November 15, 2013 guests can save up to 39 per cent on Whistler Blackcomb’s hotel and lift package. Stay in the resort for five nights and get four days of skiing or snowboarding for just $97 per night, per person. More information and package deals can be found at www.whistlerblackcomb.com/deals_packages or call 1-888-403-4727.

About Whistler Blackcomb
Whistler Blackcomb, the official alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, is situated in the Resort Municipality of Whistler located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia 125 kilometres (78 miles) from Vancouver, British Columbia. North America’s premier four season mountain resort, Whistler and Blackcomb are two side-by-side mountains which combined offer over 200 marked runs, 8,171 acres of terrain, 16 alpine bowls, three glaciers, receives on average over 1,174 centimetres (462 inches) of snow annually, and one of the longest ski seasons in North America. In the summer, Whistler Blackcomb offers a variety of activities, including hiking and biking trails, the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, and sightseeing on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola.  For more information, visit http://ww1.whistlerblackcomb.com/media

Proud to be a venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

Media Notes:  Whistler Blackcomb is pleased to provide high resolution photographs available for editorial use, downloadable at the following link: http://portal.whistlerblackcomb.com/media

Please credit – Photographer Listed, Location: Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia.

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