Whistler Blackcomb is looking forward to the 2015.2016 winter season for many reasons, not the least of which is an upcoming 50th anniversary. The resort has been lauded for advancements in the skiing, snowboarding, and mountain biking industries over the years; but this year, Whistler Blackcomb will let the accomplishments speak for themselves.
“Whistler Blackcomb has always been about pushing the envelope,” says Dave Brownlie, President and CEO of Whistler Blackcomb. “We like to be first, to go big, and to surpass guest expectations over and over again. This season we want to showcase what we’ve achieved over the past 50 years while looking forward at what is yet to come.”
Originally opening for skiing in the winter of 1965-66 and founded on the dream of one day hosting the Olympic Winter Games, Whistler Blackcomb has been going beyond to leave its mark on the ski and snowboard industry since day one. This will be a celebratory winter season with a number of activations lined up to give Whistler Blackcomb the acknowledgment it deserves for 50 years of striving to be the best, including a 50th anniversary party at the Roundhouse Lodge on December 12 and a 30 minute short film documenting Whistler Blackcomb’s colourful past titled, 50 Years of Going Beyond. To learn more about Whistler Blackcomb’s 50th anniversary, please visit whistlerblackcomb.com/50
Guests visiting Blackcomb Mountain this winter season will notice the Rendezvous Lodge has had a bit of a facelift. The Rendezvous Lodge underwent a massive renovation this summer and will open its doors with an increased capacity and improved functionality. The building has a brand new look to complement the new and fresh customizable menu options in the food court, including Japanese ramen bowls and a Thai inspired wok station where flavourful rice or noodle dishes are finished with authentic sauces and garnishes. The Mexican Taqueria will offer made to order burritos, tacos and salads; and the grill is serving up naturally raised, hormone and antibiotic-free chicken and beef burgers, Ocean Wise salmon sandwiches, as well as a plant-based option.
A total revamp of Christine’s restaurant was included in the Rendezvous Lodge renovation this summer, and it has elevated the fine dining experience on Blackcomb Mountain. Christine’s will open for the 2015.2016 winter season with a fresh new look, a new menu and a new chef, coming to Whistler Blackcomb this winter from Hawksworth Restaurant in Vancouver. Steve Ramey, an avid climber, hiker, and snowboarder, is well suited to life in the mountains and will use his culinary prowess to reimagine the menu for Christine’s.
Whistler Blackcomb will be introducing WB+ this winter season, a new online interactive platform connected to the ski resort’s RFID technology introduced last year, giving guests the option to create a personal profile in order to collect stats and data about their days on the mountains. By scanning lift passes at the RFID chairlift access gates located around Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, guests will be able keep track of personal stats including their number of days on the slopes and total vertical ridden. Customized privacy settings will allow users to make their WB+ profiles accessible to friends, family members and work colleagues, allowing groups to create goals and fun challenges throughout the winter.
This winter season, Whistler Blackcomb will conduct a new snowmaking pilot project aimed at preserving the Horstman Glacier on Blackcomb Mountain. The pilot project will involve the testing of four low-energy consumption snowmaking guns in the Horstman Hut area to determine if a full-scale snowmaking system is an option to prevent further recession of the Horstman Glacier. A snowmaking system on the Horstman Glacier could improve the early season access to glacier skiing and snowboarding during the winter and preserve our summer glacier experience for guests to enjoy in the future. If the pilot project is conclusive, this unique project will become a significant addition to Whistler Blackcomb’s list of adaptations to ensure long-term resilience against climate change.
Whistler Blackcomb will head into the coming winter season with a brand new website. This is the biggest overhaul whistlerblackcomb.com has ever seen and features a whole new look and feel with some exciting enhancements, including a new booking engine to enhance the guest experience, an improved photo, video and blog section, and a new winter/summer toggle so users can easily flip between seasonal content. The new site is also responsive, making it mobile and tablet friendly.
Located in the Blackcomb Daylodge at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, the new RDL premium rental boutique offers guests a unique rental experience and exceptional service. The rental boutique offers personalized service from specialists who will guide guests through Rossignol, Dynastar and Lange ski equipment tailored to suit every need. The product offering is diverse and tuned to perfection, including race, powder and backcountry skis, and junior and high-end ski boots that offer support and comfort. The RDL premium rental boutique offers guests the flexibility to try different skis to suit various conditions and terrain.
This winter will mark the first smoke-free ski season at Whistler Blackcomb. The smoke-free policy, originally introduced in May 2015, was implemented to preserve the pristine alpine environment for all guests. The policy prohibits smoking anywhere on Whistler Blackcomb property, including lift lines, chairlifts, gondolas, ski runs, valley base areas, parking lots and all Whistler Blackcomb bar and restaurant locations, including patios. It is important to note the smoke-free policy does not apply to all of Whistler. Smoking is still permitted in the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) in areas that are in compliance with the Municipal Tobacco Control Laws. More information about the RMOW’s smoking policy can be found at www.whistler.ca/services/bylaws-and-regulations.
The Arc’teryx Women’s Ski Camps presented by GORE-TEX® are back for another season at Whistler Blackcomb and this year have partnered with the Howe Sound Women’s Centre.
“The Arc’teryx Women’s Ski Camps presented by GORE-TEX® empower women through sport in a fun and supportive environment. The skills and friendships developed give women the confidence to thrive in all aspects of their lives,”
says Megan Reynolds Executive Director, Howe Sound Women’s Centre Society
“In turn, the addition of the silent auction benefiting our women’s programs provides a platform for camp participants to help other women in need, when and where they need it most. We are so grateful to Arc’teryx and Whistler Blackcomb for selecting the Women’s Centre as the partner charity for the camps.”
Whistler will soon host a permanent collection of British Columbia art from early times to the present day in the Audain Art Museum. Particular strengths will be an outstanding collection of nineteenth century Northwest Coast masks, one of Canada’s strongest Emily Carr collections, and a selection of Vancouver’s celebrated photo-based art. Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa have chosen Whistler as the new home for their incredible art collection. The iconic 56,000-square-foot museum will house a unique collection of British Columbia art in the heart of Whistler Village, and will be a pillar of the cultural tourism experience in Whistler, British Columbia and beyond. The Audain Art Museum is expected to open early 2016.
Toptable Group, owner of Whistler’s Araxi Restaurant + Bar, has announced the opening of a new venue in Whistler Village. Bar Oso and The Cellar a dual concept venue under one roof will open in Fall 2015.
Bar Oso being on the Village Stroll level and The Cellar being located on the lower level. Bar Oso, located on the Village Stroll level – ‘oso’ meaning ‘bear’ in Spanish – will offer a profusion of Spanish-influenced tapas, sharing and small plates whereas The Cellar, located on the lower level – will offer a unique and exciting setting for meetings and events. The Cellar will feature an impressive wine wall and show kitchen for interactive chef demonstrations. Bar Oso and The Cellar will be overseen by Araxi restaurant director Neil Henderson along with Chef James Walt.
Basalt is a new restaurant located in the Crystal Lodge buildings, along the Village Stroll in the centre of Whistler Village. This new eatery features European-style offerings of cured meats and cheeses, an international selection of wines, and a gourmet, artisanal plated menu. The space, designed by the acclaimed design team at Ste. Marie Art & Design, contains 65 seats inside and a 40 seat four-season patio complete with a fire pit.
Take a moment and imagine yourself being whisked away in a helicopter to indulge in Arctic-like experiences just a few minutes from Whistler. Head-Line Mountain Holidays is Whistler’s latest luxury adventure and wilderness experiences provider who can make all your wildest dreams come true. Guests can enjoy half day to multi-day expeditions on the Pemberton Ice Cap where they can experience an exhilarating helicopter or ground based snowmobile adventures, explore natural and awe-inspiring ice caves, pamper themselves with spa packages at a natural hot spring, or delight in a gourmet meal complete with an overnight stay in a snow hotel. Customized special events and private experiences for groups as small as two are also available. Guests can build on activity ideas such as sled skiing/boarding, speed flying, mountain bonfire, wilderness yoga, hot springs, ice caves, heli-tobogganing, heli-rafting, paired with an exceptional six-course meal in the heart of an ice cave enveloped in live music and winter glamping with guides, naturalists, chefs and indigenous story telling.
Other than the breathtaking mountain and village views, the remodeled Traditional guestrooms now have sophisticated bathrooms with deep soaker tubs, LED lighting with large mirrors, and contemporary vanities to ensure it is easy to get ready before heading out for the day. The main bedding area has been enhanced with sound proof windows, efficient and modern heating and air conditioning systems, a new colour palate, soft furnishings, and décor. Today’s traveler can now stay connected with ease as there are alarm clock data ports on the bedside tables making re-charging extremely convenient and combined with the complimentary high-speed wireless internet access, it is easier than ever to stay connected while in the comfort of your hotel room.
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