Whistler Blackcomb continues its ongoing objective of enhancing experiences for guests with newly announced plans to invest $8 million into winter and summer projects on and off the mountains.
Plans include enhancements to the ski and snowboard learning areas on Whistler Mountain, major upgrades to the Roundhouse Lodge glacier-view deck and Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC) patio, and improvements to the summer hiking trails and infrastructure on both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains.
“All of these projects demonstrate our commitment to ensuring our guests have the best possible experiences when they come to our mountains,” says Dave Brownlie, President and CEO of Whistler Blackcomb. “These plans are designed to improve guest experience, enhance our weather resiliency and contribute to the year-round growth of our business. Reinvesting in our operations and continuing to provide new offerings to guests year after year is something we are very proud of.”
Enhancements to the ski and snowboard learning areas on Whistler Mountain will involve earthwork in the Olympic Station area to open up more beginner-friendly terrain, as well as re-grading the Olympic and Fantastic runs to make them more accessible to novice skiers and riders. Whistler Blackcomb will be installing two new covered magic carpet lifts at Olympic Station and 25 new energy efficient snow guns to ensure prime conditions for beginner skiers and riders all season long. Plans also include re-grading the Upper Whiskey Jack run above the Chic Pea Hut to make it less steep and to create a more positive experience for beginners, as well as adding four new energy efficient snow guns to the area.
Upgrades to the Roundhouse Lodge glacier-view deck include the addition of 6,000sq feet of new space in the form of a new upper and lower deck and a new “umbrella bar” featuring a collapsible roof that can open and close like an umbrella depending on the weather. The upgrades will add approximately 160 new outdoor seats to the Roundhouse Lodge, 63 of which will be at the umbrella bar. The umbrella bar is heated and will be open during the winter season, along with the new upper patio.
The GLC upgrades include plans to renovate the section of the patio overlooking Skier’s Plaza with a small expansion, a new roof, heaters and fire pits. The renovation will increase the capacity of the GLC on a year-round basis with 90 outdoor covered seats, and will elevate the patio experience for guests at Whistler’s signature slope-side après restaurant.
Enhancement plans for the summer experiences at Whistler Blackcomb include improvements to the Harmony Lake, Peak Express Traverse, and Whistler Summit Interpretive Walk hiking trails on Whistler Mountain, and the Alpine Walk hiking trail on Blackcomb Mountain. Work such as resurfacing and widening will be done on each of the trails to improve their usability and make them more enjoyable for guests. The Samsung Alpine Theatre, which has been a favourite in the Roundhouse Lodge during recent summers, will be expanded and relocated to the lower level of the Rendezvous Lodge on Blackcomb. The theatre will continue to show visually stunning videos that touch on things like Whistler Blackcomb’s history and the construction of the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola.
All of the projects included in the $8 million investment are expected to be complete by the start of the 2016-17 ski season.