Whistler Blackcomb opens for the season tomorrow

Nov 25 2020, 5:51 pm

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Please note: As recommended by BC’s provincial health officials, gatherings of any kind and unessential travel in the province is not recommended at this time. Please adhere to COVID-19 health and safety measures, including proper physical distancing and frequent handwashing. If you are sick, please stay home. 

Whistler Blackcomb is opening for the season this Thursday, November 26, and like so many other things this year, the resort experience will look somewhat different due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Planning ahead is really the key this year,” said Whistler Blackcomb COO Geoff Buchheister. “We’re asking our guests to apply this same preparation before heading up the highway as we know protecting our ability to ski and ride is a collective responsibility this season.”

To ski or snowboard, guests must reserve their space on the mountain and plan ahead for food and shelter breaks. The mountain will also be using a new Time to Dine table booking system, available through its revamped EpicMix app, to ensure physical distancing in lodges and restaurants.

While non-essential provincial travel, including to ski hills, is not recommended at this time, the mountain has put in place the following protocols and reminders for guests:

  • Reserve your ski day: Early season is only available to pass holders; day tickets are not scheduled to go on sale until December 8, and tickets will not be available on-site and must be purchased/reserved online. Pass products include all-season passes, Edge Cards, and the new Whistler Blackcomb Day Passes, which allow guests to pre-purchase up to 10 single day passes. Pass products are on sale until December 6.
  • Book your time to dine: Pre-reserve your time in restaurants using Time to Dine, available through the EpicMix App. Spots for the Roundhouse, Rendezvous and Glacier Creek lodges open at 7 am every day. Or you can pre-reserve the GLC, Merlin’s and Dusty’s via EpicMix or the two fine dining restaurants: Christine’s on Blackcomb and Steeps Grill & Wine Bar. Bookings can be made online.
  • Pack a face covering: Wearing a face covering in all lineups, on lifts, and inside restaurants and stores is mandatory.
  • Be prepared to physically distance: A two-metre space between guests will be observed in lines, restaurants, and on chairlifts. Expect to see physically larger lines at the base of the hill with fewer people.
  • Bring a snack and water: It’s always a good idea to have a snack in your pocket for time outdoors. This year, guests are being asked to bring food and water, and pre-reserve their time indoors. It is not necessary to purchase anything to book space.

Whistler Blackcomb launched its COVID Safety Protocols this summer, requiring face masks, touch-free payments and physical distancing in all of its lines and facilities. For winter, the mountain is adding the reservation system for ski days, table bookings, maximum class sizes in Snow School, and health screenings for those participating in a lesson.

The resort said a “COVID street team” is also on hand at the base “to help guests navigate any changes.”

Travellers asked to postpone recreational trips

Last week Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry strongly advised all British Columbians to revise their travel plans for the next few weeks as COVID-19 cases have continued to rise.

“We are asking people in BC to stay local right now. To postpone recreational or social travel — whether that’s to Whistler, to Tofino, or to visit your grandparents,” she said.

Henry’s latest advice comes as BC’s ski season is just beginning, and many resorts were hoping for Canadian visitors while international tourists won’t be hitting the slopes.

“Go to your local ski hill rather than going to one that’s in another part of the province,” she said.

With files from Megan Devlin

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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