Whistler Blackcomb announces 'historic' $66 million investment plan

Dec 7 2017, 5:24 pm

Just over a year into their tenure as Whistler Blackcomb’s new owners, Vail Resorts has announced a planned $66 million “historic investment” for the mountain.

The majority of that money will be spent on the the installation of three new lifts at the resort.

The Wizard and Solar Coaster chairlifts on Blackcomb will be replaced by a 10-passenger gondola running from the mountain’s base to the top. It will drop guests off next to the existing Peak 2 Peak.

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.

The plan also includes lift upgrades in Whistler Blackcomb’s Family Ski Zone. The Zone’s Emerald Express quad chair will be replaced with a new six-passenger high-speed lift, increasing guest uphill capacity by 29%

Finally, the existing Catskinner triple chair will be replaced with a high-speed quad chairlift, thereby increasing uphill capacity by 56%, the company said.

Whistler summer offerings expand

The plan also includes the expansion of Whistler Blackcomb’s summer season offerings, including its mountain bike park.

The bike park is currently in the middle of a two-phase upgrade that will add 21 km (13 miles) of biking trails in the summer of 2018, representing the single largest new terrain opening in the history of the park.

“We are incredibly excited to bring to life the spirit of the Whistler Blackcomb Renaissance with a focus on the on-mountain experience that lies at the heart of our resort,” said Pete Sonntag, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Whistler Blackcomb in a statement.

This investment, he said, “will offer a dramatic improvement to the experience for all of our guests as they explore and enjoy the largest and most popular resort in North America.”

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