Whistler has taken a serious look into its future and has announced that it’s about to expand its current mountain resort offerings in an effort to make it a renowned year-round travel destination.
The new ‘renaissance’ plan, costing $345 million, will welcome new weather-independent experiences and a variety of major attractions and activities that will revitalize its village areas.
In a statement, Dave Brownlie, President and Chief Executive Officer, calls this move the most progressive investment in the company’s history.
“This is a very exciting growth initiative that, we expect, will increase year-round visitation to Whistler, insulate our resort from variable weather conditions, and strengthen Whistler’s position as one of the premier mountain resort destinations in the world,” says Brownlie.
The projected updates will be completed in a series of three phases.
Phase One — Estimated Cost $90 – $100 million
The Watershed, a year-round indoor adventure centre, equipped with water slides, deep water surf simulator technology, cliff jumping and rock climbing experiences, as well as other weather-independent activities in Blackcomb’s upper base.
– A new high-speed lift to replace the Magic Chair and connect Blackcomb’s upper and lower bases.
– A year-round mountain coaster, a tree-top ropes course, and ATV and snowmobile activities.
– New snow school learning zones, a night skiing zone, and enhanced snowmaking on Blackcomb Mountain.
– Major improvements to Whistler Blackcomb’s existing sightseeing, hiking and mountain biking experiences.
– A new suspension bridge and viewing platform at the peak of Whistler Mountain.
– A major expansion of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park into the Creekside zone, which will include 50 kilometres of new downhill mountain biking trails.
Phase Two — Estimated Cost $105 – $115 million
During this phase, a new day lodge and snow school facility will be built within the new Watershed adventure centre. There will also be a two-storey parking complex built at Blackcomb’s upper base. The company behind the renaissance plan hopes to build up to 60 high-end ski-in-ski-out townhomes near the Watershed facilities.
Phase Three — Estimated Cost $140 – $150 million
During the final phase, upgrades will be made to Blackcomb’s base area, with upgrades on the day lodge and skier’s plaza, turning the base into a vibrant, upscale village community. Phase three will also include major on-mountain improvements to the lifts, as well as the development of an indoor action sports training facility designed to expand the company’s youth development programs in skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking.
It has yet to be confirmd when any of these updates will begin to take place, but there must be approval from the local First Nations as well as from both the municipal and provincial governments before any construction can take place.