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Posts tagged with "Whistler Blackcomb"

Photo courtesy of Whistler-Blackcomb Resort media relations.

As the first days of autumn have arrived, its now time to start thinking about skiing and snowboarding in the Pacific Northwest.

Many are hopeful this coming winter will be as fruitful as last season when snow arrived early and stayed late into the spring.

This past week, the Whistler-Blackcomb Resort in British Columbia posted some pictures of a dusting of snow covering the upper elevations, which means its only a matter of time before the winter season gets underway.

Webcam photo courtesy Whistler-Blackcomb Resort media relations.
Webcam photo courtesy Whistler-Blackcomb Resort media relations.

Whistler-Blackcomb is winding down their summer operations and welcomed the snow to the Roundhouse Lodge, according to a recent email from the Whistler-Blackcomb media relations department.

The resort woke up on Sept. 19 to a dusting at 6,069 feet, and a bit of a thicker coat at the top of the Peak Chair at 7,160 feet. Guests can soak in the snow covered areas on sightseeing tours  on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until October 10.

Big White Ski Resort accommodationSave

When it comes to ski resorts, British Columbia in Canada is right there at the top of the list. BC’s ski resorts get frequent dumps of snow and have long runs, and these days, a highly favourable exchange rate puts Canada at the top of the list for a skiing or snowboarding holiday. Whistler Blackcomb is the most well-known for its great ski runs, fabulous views, the Peak2Peak gondola and a vibrant nightlife. Of course, Whistler has trails and lessons for children and families. But the host destination of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games is also big and busy. If you’re after a relaxed ski holiday, Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna is a good family friendly option. Here are eight reasons to choose Big White for your next family skiing holiday.


A top reason to go to Big White is for its Champagne Powder snow. Located west of the Rockies, Big White is far enough from the coast that the air is dryer, and so is the snow.

Big White Ski Resort is also the highest peak in the Thompson Okanagan Highlands. It’s a place where Kelowna locals escape to for blue sky, sunshine and beautiful sunsets.

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Whistler-Blackcomb Holdings will be purchased by Colorado-based Vail Resorts Inc. under a friendly deal announced this morning by the companies. Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain at Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort is shown in this file photo.
Whistler-Blackcomb Holdings will be purchased by Colorado-based Vail Resorts Inc. under a friendly deal announced this morning by the companies. Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain at Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort is shown in this file photo. TOSHI KAWANO /TOURISM BC

Season ski pass holders at Whistler Blackcomb can expect to see a dramatic cut in costs after Vail Resorts’ $1.4-billion purchase of the B.C. resort on Monday.

Vail Resorts says it will slash the price of a Whistler season pass starting in 2017 — normally around $2,000 Cdn — to roughly half that, and fold it into Vail’s popular 13-resort Epic Pass, which currently sells for US$809.

The rewriting of season pass holder fees is one of the more immediate consumer benefits of a friendly cash-and-stock takeover of Whistler Blackcomb, the crown jewel of North America’s ski resorts, by Colorado-based resort giant Vail Resorts. It is the first foray into Canada by Vail, which in recent years has been on a buying spree and now owns nine other mountain resorts and two ski areas in the U.S. and Australia.

In a path away from that taken by other periodic U.S.-based owners of Whistler Blackcomb, Vail said it will significantly invest in the property, expanding its attraction to the Asia-Pacific market ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, as well as attract new visitors from Latin America.

It comes only months after the provincial government approved of Aquilini Investment Group’s plan to build a $3.5 billion ski resort at Garibaldi, a proposal opposed by Whistler Resort Municipality and Whistler Blackcomb.

In purchasing Whistler Blackcomb, Vail Resorts said it plans to carry on the company’s recently-announced $345 million Renaissance plan to expand the resort’s four-season market. It did not say how much it will invest in Whistler beyond the multi-year Renaissance plan, which includes a covered water park.

The change in season pass prices, which will not come into effect this year, is part of Vail’s North American effort to make skiing more affordable and attractive. The company has also had lots of evidence to show a lower overall pass, coupled with access to multiple resorts, is good for the company’s bottom line.

“We believe with the price being lower and all the benefits added, we can really expand our base,” Rob Katz, Vail’s CEO said Monday. “It is true that for a handful of people they are going to get a great discount but for so many other people they are going to buy a season pass when they ordinarily wouldn’t. We’ve seen this broaden and make much more accessible the opportunity to ski at the best value possible.”

When Vail first opened its Epic Pass program in 2008, a season pass at Vail Mountain sold for US$1,500. The company lowered it to $600, and watched as the number of season pass holders went from 40,000 to more than 550,000 today.

The purchase of Whistler Blackcomb, one of North America’s premier ski resorts, came after a concerted courtship by Vail in recent months, while the company was working on the Renaissance project and trying to also write a new master development plan with the province and Squamish and Lil’wat First Nations.

“We were focused on our business and working with the province and First Nations communities on our master development agreements and we really weren’t interested at the end of the day in terms of accommodation with Vail,” said Dave Brownlie, Whistler Blackcomb’s CEO. “But they were persistent and they kept calling and at the end of the day they put a very attractive offer on the table.

Both Vail and Whistler Blackcomb are publicly-traded companies. Under the scheme Whistler Blackcomb shareholders are being offered $17.50 per share in cash and 0.0975 shares of Vail Resorts common stock for each of their shares, for a total of $676 million in cash and Vail stock worth about $715 million. When the deal closes this fall, Whistler Blackcomb shareholders will own approximately 10 per cent of Vail’s shares.

Whistler Blackcomb shares closed in Toronto on Friday at C$25.14 — giving it a market value of about $960 million before Monday’s announcement. Shares of Whistler Blackcomb jumped to an all-time high when markets opened Monday and closed at a record $36.63. In New York, Vail Resorts stock also hit an all-time high, closing at US$155.46.

Under the deal Brownlie will remain as the chief operating officer for Whistler Blackcomb, which will keep its local name.

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Whistler BlackcombA view from Whistler Blackcomb. REUTERS/Andy Clark

The mountain resort operator Vail Resorts is buying Canada’s Whistler Blackcomb in a deal worth about 1.4 billion Canadian dollars ($1.1 billion).

Vail will acquire 100% of Whistler Blackcomb’s stock, paying shareholders 17.50 Canadian dollars in cash and 0.0975 of Vail Resorts common stock, with a total value of about 36 Canadian dollars per share.

“This relationship will bring greater resources to support our current operations and our ambitious growth plans, including the Renaissance project, the most exciting and transformative investment in Whistler Blackcomb’s history,” Dave Brownlie,Whistler Blackcomb’s CEO, said in a statement.

He will continue to lead Whistler Blackcomb as chief operating officer.

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