Whistler Blackcomb’s new Gondola, the focal point of a $66 million investment by Vail Resorts, will not be ready in time for opening day.
The project, which saw an aggressive timeline, faced challenges such as limited access to helicopters as well as a number of other production delays.
Mark Bee, President of lift manufacturer Doppelmayr USA, who partnered with Whistler Blackcomb for the expansion project, apologized for the delay through a formal statement:
On behalf of Doppelmayr, I would like to apologize to the guests of Whistler Blackcomb for any inconvenience they will experience from this delay. We will do everything we can to complete the Blackcomb Gondola on or before the new target date and know that the new gondola will provide the enhanced experience and positive impact everyone has been looking forward to.
The 10-passenger gondola is the highlight of the mountain’s lift expansion project and replaces the pre-existing Wizard and Solar Coaster chairlifts.
The new gondola is expected to represent a 47% capacity increase and move 4,000 people per hour, which the company said is the highest capacity in North America.
Skiers and riders will still be able to access Blackcomb once the mountain is open, however, they won’t be able to upload from Blackcomb base.
Marc Riddell, director of communications at Whistler Blackcomb, confirmed with Daily Hive that the opening date of the new Gondola is December 14, 2018.
Whistler Blackcomb’s lift expansion project also included upgrades to the Emerald Express quad chair and the Catskinner triple chair. Fortunately, the two chairlifts are fully functional, now upgraded into a six-passenger lift and a four-passenger lift, respectively.
–with files from Eric Zimmer
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