Winter 2016.17Whistler Blackcomb’s official opening day is scheduled for November 24, 2016. Here is what guests can expect this season:
For the 2016.2017 season, Whistler Blackcomb is rolling out a number of enhancements to ensure the exceptional guest experience for which the resort is celebrated continues this winter and beyond. Last season Whistler Blackcomb celebrated its 50th anniversary and we reflected on our past,” says Dave Brownlie, President and CEO of Whistler Blackcomb. “This season we turn our attention to the future and what lies ahead. At Whistler Blackcomb we are committed to ensuring our guests have the best experience possible and this year we continue to work towards that goal with major improvements to the learning areas on Whistler Mountain and enhancements to the Roundhouse Lodge and GLC patios.”
Improvements to Whistler Blackcomb’s Learning Areas
As part of its continued efforts to grow the sport of skiing and snowboarding, Whistler Blackcomb will spend over $2.4 million to improve the learning areas on Whistler Mountain for the upcoming winter season. Improvements include terrain grading in the Olympic Zone to optimize learning for new skiers and snowboarders, and the installation of two new covered carpet lifts to help eliminate congestion and improve learning progression. Whistler Blackcomb has also added 32 new low energy snow guns in the Olympic Zone to ensure the early opening of the learning area and to guarantee the best possible surface for learning throughout the season.
On Blackcomb Mountain, another 13 low energy snow guns are being added to the Base Learning Area accessible from the Magic Chair. The improved snowmaking infrastructure in the area will ensure prime conditions for beginner skiers and snowboarders all season long. Whistler Blackcomb has one of the most extensive snowmaking systems in North America, with a total of 315 snow guns in its snowmaking fleet and three snowmaking reservoirs with a total holding capacity of 55 million gallons.
Patio Upgrades at the Roundhouse Lodge and Garibaldi Lift Co.
In 2017 guests will be able to enjoy upgrades to the Roundhouse Lodge patio on Whistler Mountain, including new upper and lower decks. The improvements increase the total patio space to 10,000sq feet and add over 250 new outdoor seats to the Roundhouse Lodge. The new upper patio will be heated and open during winter seasons going forward. Steeps Grill and Wine Bar in the Roundhouse Lodge will introduce a new heated patio this winter, offering diners the opportunity to enjoy a full service fine-dining experience in a comfortable outdoor setting in Whistler’s alpine.
New Gourmet Grilled Cheese Restaurant on Whistler Mountain
This winter Whistler Blackcomb will introduce a new dining option for guests at Olympic Station on Whistler Mountain. Ollie’s Grilled Cheese stand will be serving up gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, fries, soups, espresso and snacks to help skiers and snowboarders fuel up and keep warm during their day on the mountain.
New CAN-SKI Stores
Whistler Blackcomb will be introducing two new CAN-SKI stores this winter season: CAN-SKI Performance in Whistler Village Marketplace and CAN-SKI Alpine, located in the Hilton Whistler Resort and Spa. The new CAN-SKI Performance store is a first of its kind at Whistler Blackcomb, offering tuning services on high-precision equipment, professional boot fitting, performance rentals and a full range of ski hardgoods, softgoods and accessories, including a full selection of kids gear and ski outerwear. The CAN-SKI Performance store will also serve as a location for guests to purchase and collect their Whistler Blackcomb pass and card products this season.
The new CAN-SKI Alpine store offers a boutique shopping experience just steps from the Whistler Village Gondola. Featuring some of the most sought after brands in the ski industry, this store offers the very best in ski apparel and accessories.
New Groups Function in WB+
Last winter Whistler Blackcomb introduced WB+, a new online interactive platform connected to the resort’s RFID technology. WB+ offers guests the option to create a personal WB+ profile to collect stats and data about their days on the mountains simply by scanning their lift passes at the RFID chairlift access gates. This winter guests will be able to enjoy the WB+ Groups function, which enables skiers and riders to set up leaderboards with their friends and family to compare stats, such as number of days on the mountain or total vertical skied.
This season, Whistler Blackcomb takes a big picture look at the future of skiing and snowboarding in a four-part documentary series exploring climate change, backcountry access, the state of the industry, and the risks of losing kids to technology. The series has been created by Switchback Entertainment and produced with the support of TELUS.
The North Face Women’s Camps presented by GORE-TEX®
The North Face Women’s Camps presented by GORE-TEX® offer female skiers the opportunity to develop their skills with professional coaches in a highly motivational environment. The two day women-only camps take place during select weekends throughout the winter season and include equipment reviews, skills training, après sessions and silent auctions from which all proceeds go to the Howe Sound Women's Centre.
Whistler Blackcomb grooms an average of 1,300 acres every night during the winter season and is considered an industry leader when it comes to its grooming. To maintain this standard of excellence, Whistler Blackcomb will invest $3.3 million to boost its grooming fleet for the upcoming season, including the addition of a new model 400 Pisten Bully Park Pro terrain park grooming cat, two new model 600 Pisten Bully regular piste grooming cats, two new model 600 Pisten Bully Polar piste grooming cats, Pisten Bully’s most powerful machines ideal for moving deep winter snow, and two new model 600 Pisten Bully Polar Winch grooming cats.
Horstman Glacier Snowmaking Pilot Project
Whistler Blackcomb’s snowmaking pilot project is entering its second season this winter to determine if a full-scale snowmaking system is an option to prevent further recession of the Horstman Glacier. Last season, the focus of the project was snow production with low energy ‘air water’ snow guns along the ridge of the Horstman Glacier. This season the focus will shift to snow production using high volume ‘fan’ snow guns on towers mounted directly on the glacier ice. The hope is this new system will be better suited to combating the high alpine winds and will result in greater snow coverage.
Whistler Blackcomb joins the Epic Pass
On October 17, 2016, Vail Resorts announced their official acquisition of Whistler Blackcomb. In celebration of closing, Vail Resorts is offering limited access for the 2016-17 winter season with full access to come for the 2017-18 ski season. All 2016-17 Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass holders receive five days of skiing and snowboarding at Whistler Blackcomb this winter season. In addition, Whistler Blackcomb Unlimited season Passholders receive five days of skiing and snowboarding at any of Vail Resorts’ U.S. resorts.
The full season pass line-up with Whistler Blackcomb for 2017-18 will be announced when those passes go on sale in March 2017.