Highlights Include: Wonder Routes, Family Appeal, New Snow School Programs, Backcountry Clinics and an All New High Performance Rental Fleet.
WHISTLER, BC, August 27, 2012 – Building on last year’s incredible season, Whistler Blackcomb is introducing new products and services - affirming its spot as the consistently ranked No.1 ski resort in North America.
Last winter, Whistler Blackcomb tallied a total accumulation of 1,389 centimeters or 45.6 feet of snow. While those numbers seem high, they are actually just above the annual average delivered to Whistler Blackcomb each year. Over the past ten years Whistler Blackcomb has received an average of 1,192 centimeters or 39.1 feet.
“Following on the heels of last year’s exceptional season, this winter we are looking forward to continuing to show guests why we’re a great skiing and riding destination,” said Dave Brownlie, Whistler Blackcomb’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “Last season we achieved the highest customer satisfaction score in the Canadian ski industry, affirming our reputation for delivering an incredible guest experience. This season we will continue to improve our guest experience by introducing a new “Family Certified” program, developing new Snow School programs, and unveiling the new Wonder Routes.”
Whistler Blackcomb’s official opening day for this ski season is November 22, 2012. To help stoke the anticipation, the following are the top highlights for the 2012.2013 Winter Season:
WONDEROUS WHISTLER BLACKCOMB
The Wonder Routes
Whistler Blackcomb offers the most skiable terrain in North America with: 8,171 acres, 200+ runs, 16 alpine bowls, and three glaciers. With so much terrain to explore, some guests aren’t sure where to start. The Wonder Routes are a network of tours, trails, waypoints and stops that were created to help guests navigate the mountain and discover Whistler Blackcomb’s most wonder-filled places. There are six routes and each showcase a unique aspect to the mountains:
· Top of the World Route – features views from Whistler Blackcomb’s four highest peaks.
· The Steeps Sampler – highlights the steepest ski/snowboard runs on both mountains.
· Size Matters Route – showcases the longest runs on Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain.
· The Gold Medal Route – features points of interest from the 2010 Winter Olympics.
· Family Certified Route – highlights family-friendly areas and points of interest.
· The Powder Stashes Route – guides guests through powder snow areas.
More information about Whistler Blackcomb’s Wonder Routes will be available in the Fall at www.whistlerblackcomb.com/
Guests are also invited to visit the Wonderground website and share wonders they have experienced first-hand at Whistler Blackcomb. TELUS is offering complimentary on-mountain Wi-Fi so guests can easily pin their favorite location. In addition to complimentary Wi-Fi in the Roundhouse Lodge and Rendezvous Lodge, it is also available at the Inukshuk in front of the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain, at the top of the Crystal Zone on Blackcomb Mountain, at the top of 7th Heaven Express chairlift on Blackcomb Mountain, the top of the Harmony Express on Whistler Mountain chairlift and at the top of the Peak Chair on Whistler Mountain. By sharing a wonder and “pinning” it on the Wonderground map, guests will have the option to be entered into a draw to win weekly prizes.
The Wonder Reels
To fuel the stoke in advance of the season and throughout, skiers, riders and mountain lovers from around the world can enjoy a piece of Whistler Blackcomb online. Whistler Blackcomb has commissioned a seven episode video series filmed, edited, and produced by two of the industry’s top production companies, Sherpa’s Cinema and Switchback Entertainment. The Wonder Reels will premiere on August 28 followed by seven episodes throughout the 2012.2013 season featuring “wonderous” aspects of Whistler Blackcomb as seen through the eyes of local kids, athletes, artists and other local people. More details about the Wonder Reels and release dates can be found at www.whistlerblackcomb.com/
The Wonderstruck Contest
Whistler Blackcomb will be launching the Wonderstruck Contest September 10. Eligible entries will be entered in a draw to win a trip to Whistler for a week which includes seven days of seven amazing experiences.
This year the contest will be open to residents in the UK and North America including: Florida, New York and Quebec. Contest details will be released on September 10 and contestants will be able to enter the Wonderstruck Contest online at www.whistlerblackcomb.com/
This season, Whistler Blackcomb is focused on developing its family programing. The new Family Certified icon will be displayed on ski runs, in stores, on Whistler Blackcomb’s website, and in Whistler Blackcomb food and beverage locations to indicate kid-friendly areas, products and services. New signage and additional flags have also been added to on-mountain ski/snowboard areas to better mark children and beginner-friendly terrain.
Here are some newly improved family-friendly runs and activities to check out while exploring Whistler Blackcomb:
· Whistler Kids Training Centre on Whistler Mountain, featuring a larger skills zone, an improved race training zone and additional flags and signage for ease of finding.
· Bear Cub run on Whistler Mountain is easier than ever to spot with a brand new entrance sign, interpretive signage about bears and a rest station.
· Magic Castle on Blackcomb and the Tree Fort on Whistler are refurbished this season making it more fun than ever to take a break from skiing or riding and explore the on-mountain playgrounds.
· The Enchanted Forest run on Blackcomb Mountain is wider this season and has a brand new entrance sign.
More information about “Family Certified” and other family activities can be found on Whistler Blackcomb’s website and by keeping eyes peeled for this icon:
EXTREMELY CANADIAN BACKCOUNTRY CLINICS
Extremely Canadian, Whistler Blackcomb’s Steep Skiing Clinic founders, is launching a new backcountry program this season. Guests will learn techniques and tactics to improve powder skiing and snowboarding and to navigate the backcountry safely. This program is designed for advanced-intermediate to expert skiers and riders. Clinics are expected to run from December 8, 2012 to April 28, 2013, weather and avalanche conditions permitting. Groups or private clinics are available and can be booked through Whistler Blackcomb.
NEW MAX4: FOUR DAY SKI CAMPS
The MAX4 program at Whistler Blackcomb Snow School was introduced last season with rave reviews so this season Snow School has expanded the program, offering a four day camp option. The camps start each Monday, beginning December 3, 2012 and include four consecutive days of lessons featuring a maximum of four students per instructor, four après sessions, video analysis, lift line priority. Ensuring there is never more than four people in any daily adult Snow School group lesson, allows for quality one on one time with instructors, enabling participants to improve faster. For information on MAX4 and other snow school programs, please visit whistlerblackcomb.com/
DISCOVER WHISTLER DAYS EXPANDS
This season Whistler Blackcomb has added ten more days throughout the season to enjoy featured lessons at 30 per cent off the regular price:
· Early season – Opening Day to Dec 16
· Deep winter – Jan 7 to Feb 8
· Mid-season – Feb 25 to Mar 8
· Spring skiing – Apr 8 to 21
During Discover Whistler Days Snow School group lessons are offered at 30 per cent off. Discover Whistler Days lessons include MAX4 Group Lessons for Adults, MAX4 Camps for Adults, Ride Tribe for Teens and Adventure Camps for Kids. For more information visit the Discover Whistler Days website.
GROOMING & SNOWMAKING
Whistler Blackcomb has upgraded its grooming fleet by replacing seven snow cats, and adding three new park cats. The new equipment, coupled with Whistler Blackcomb’s 220-strong fleet of state-of-the-art snow guns, enables Whistler Blackcomb to offer guests the best quality ski/ride experience from opening day in November to the last day of the season in May.
This season Whistler Blackcomb’s Terrain Parks Team and Whistler Kids Team are focused on parks progression. On opening day, the Whistler Kids Training Centre, located under the Emerald Chair on Whistler Mountain will expand its facility to include beginner terrain park features. This progression-focused facility is targeted to guests who are new to terrain parks and want to learn the fundamentals of riding rails and landing jumps. It is designed for beginners to hone their skills before moving on to the next level, the Terrain Garden.
Whistler Blackcomb’s Terrain Parks progress from “never-ever” beginners to experts only:
· Kids Training Centre (green)
· Terrain Garden/Cougar Park (green)
· Habitat Park (blue)
· Mini Pipe (blue)
· Nintendo Terrain Park (blue, black)
· Snow Cross Track (black)
· Global Pipe (double black diamond)
· Highest Level (double black diamond)
For more information on Whistler Blackcomb Terrain Parks please visit whistlerblackcomb.com/parks.
This winter season Whistler Blackcomb is offering an entirely new rental and demo fleet, a compelling reason to avoid the airline baggage fee and leave old skis and snowboards at home. The new rental fleet includes ten new ski and snowboard models from Salomon, Rossignol, Atomic, K2 and Head. Guests will also have access to over 16 new demo models. Guests who rent or demo skis or boards will also have access to free storage at the base of either Whistler or Blackcomb and the ability to switch equipment to suit snow conditions, as many times as they like, for free.
Also new this winter, Whistler Blackcomb’s Salomon Store is unveiling a state-of-the-art boot fitting lab to ensure guests are comfortably fitted with the perfect ski or snowboard boot. The Salomon/Atomic Project will feature boots and skis from both Salomon and Atomic, and will offer top-of-the-line customization options from Conformable and Superfeet. The latest tools in boot fitting will be available to provide Salomon Store guests with the best fit possible.
Whistler Blackcomb has been named a finalist for the Power Smart Leader Award from BC Hydro. The award recognizes companies that meet or exceed energy-saving targets and implement a culture focused on sustainability and energy conservation. Achievements that have led to Whistler Blackcomb’s award nomination include: the Fitzsimmons Creek Run-of-River Project, five per cent annual energy reduction achievements, the BC Hydro Workplace Conservation Awareness Pilot Project, waste reduction and many other initiatives. The overall winner will be announced in the Fall of 2012.
Whistler Blackcomb is also celebrating being named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers project for the fourth year in a row. Whistler Blackcomb has been committed to reducing its impact on the planet since the early 90’s and has employed an in-house environmental management team since 1997. The team has spearheaded the development of a company-wide Sustainability Policy which outlines Whistler Blackcomb’s key areas of focus, including energy conservation, waste management, and guest and staff awareness and education.
To learn more about Whistler Blackcomb’s environmental initiatives visit the environment page.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
This season, Whistler Blackcomb continues its mission to provide healthy and sustainable food options with an increased focus on alternative meal options for guests with dietary concerns. Whistler Blackcomb will be providing more gluten free and vegan options including gluten free muffins, biscotti, cookies and other grab-and-go snack items.
From grab-and-go snack items to hearty quick service meals, to full service restaurants, there is a dining option for everyone at Whistler Blackcomb. Steeps Grill on Whistler Mountain and Christine’s on Blackcomb Mountain are the full service dining options, both of which work with local suppliers and growers to feature farm-to-table ingredients as best as possible. Both restaurants have joined Eat BC and engaged the Vancouver Aquariums' Ocean Wise™ program to provide fresh local and sustainable food.
Throughout the winter, Vincor and Steeps present the Winemaker Après Series where guests are treated to a five course meal paired with wines from some of the best wineries that British Columbia has to offer. More information and reservations can be made online or by calling 604.905.2379 or 1.888.403.4727.
Whistler Blackcomb is excited to serve Spirit Bear Coffee at all of the 17 mountain top restaurants and dining facilities. As an ongoing commitment to the preservation of the Great Bear Rainforest, the Spirit Bear Coffee Company donates five per cent of net profits to the Raincoast Conservation Fund. All coffee beans are sourced from Fair Trade Certified Cooperatives and privately held plantations.
CONNECTING WITH WHISTLER BLACKCOMB
The Whistler Blackcomb Live, Powered by TELUS app is now better than ever with new powder alerts designed to notify guests when fresh snow is in the forecast. The app also allows skiers and riders to track their runs using GPS, share their speed and vertical as well as take and share photos with friends via Twitter and Facebook. The Whistler Blackcomb app was developed by Resort Technology Partners (RTP) is powered by TELUS and is the first of its kind on the market. A Lite version of the app with no GPS tracking capabilities, will also be available for download on any mobile device this season. It is available for iPhone and Android, more information can be found at whistlerblackcomb.com/app.
NEW PARTNERSHIPS VALUE ADD FOR GUESTS
Whistler Blackcomb’s partners extend a number of benefits to guests, improving the already award winning guest experience at Whistler Blackcomb.
- Complimentary Wi-Fi powered by TELUS at on-mountain restaurants and valley bars; Garibaldi Lift Co. (GLC), Merlin’s Bar and Grill, and Dusty’s Bar and BBQ
- Globe & Mail offers guests complimentary access to daily newspapers in various mountain top locations and a free four week subscription to Globe2Go for Fresh Tracks participants.
- As the cold drink sponsor at Whistler Blackcomb, Coca-Cola supports Whistler Blackcomb guests by providing reusable beverage containers at mountain restaurants. Guests are encouraged to use the red reusable cups to help contribute to Whistler Blackcomb’s waste-reduction initiatives.
- Nintendo benefits guests by offering Nintendo Gaming Lounges in the Roundhouse Lodge and the Rendezvous Lodge. These free lounges feature many of Nintendo’s latest games and are a great way for guests to recharge before heading back onto the hill.
- New this season, TELUS is providing 25 new digital screens that will provide real-time lift status updates, live weather conditions and the grooming status for all ski runs on both mountains. The new screens will replace current boards and will be placed at various locations on both mountains including the Blackcomb Daylodge in the Upper Village, Guest Relations at the base of Whistler Mountain, the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain and in front of the Rendezvous Lodge on Blackcomb Mountain.
VALUE: “WORLD CLASS EXPERIENCE DOESN’T HAVE TO COME AT WORLD CLASS PRICES”
Early Booking Packages
With Whistler Blackcomb’s Early Booking offers, it has never been easier for guests to get the most for their money when planning a ski vacation. This season guests can save up to 39 per cent on lift and lodging packages - starting from $96 per person, per night when booked by November 15, 2012. Kids 12 years old and under also ski, stay, rent and receive airport transfer for free. Guests can also save up to $50 off Snow School, up to 33 per cent off Equipment Rentals, and up to 21 per cent off airport shuttles to Whistler when booked by November 15, 2012.
By booking early, guests receive Whistler Blackcomb’s lowest rates of the season, guaranteed. If the price drops on any equivalent package purchased before November 15, 2012, Whistler Blackcomb will match the price. Terms and Conditions can be found online.
When guests book before November 15 they receive $50 off MAX 4 Camp Lessons for Adults, Private Lessons & Guides, Ride Tribe for Teens and Adventure Camps for Kids. For more information on Snow School programs, please visit whistlerblackcomb.com/
Pass & Card Options
Whistler Blackcomb focuses on offering exceptional value every season with pass and card options for every type of guest:
- Early Bird Adult Unlimited Season Pass is on sale for $1429 if purchased before Oct. 10 (saving $300 off the full price).
- EDGE Cards are available at Early Bird rates to Canadian and Washington State residents (identification required). If purchased before November 19, one day EDGE Cards are $77, three day EDGE Cards are available for $229, five day EDGE Cards are available for $359 and ten day EDGE Cards are available for $649, enabling guests to ski for as little as $72.65 per day.
- The Gold Card is available to US residents, excluding Washington State, allowing guests to ski or ride for less than $67 per day. Guests have the option of purchasing either a five day Gold Card for $369 or a ten day Gold Card for $669 that can be used at any point during the ski season. Gold Cards are on sale from August 29 to December 10.