Whistler Blackcomb, North America’s largest ski destination, is expanding its reach by merging with Vail Resorts, Inc. and launching its Renaissance Improvement Plan.
The merger cost Vail roughly $1.1B cash, and the partnership will help both giants expand and remain profitable.
What does that mean for skiers? Access to more skiable terrain than ever before, at some of the most sought after ski destinations in the world! It also means more amenities for mountain resort travelers to enjoy on their vacations.
Whistler’s Renaissance Plan will be installed in three phases with $345M in improvements to existing buildings and equipment add-ons to enhance visitor experiences. Work has already begun, and Phase I is due to be completed by the end of this season.
This initial $8M mini-phase will enhance the Roundhouse Lodge, which will get a 6000 sq.ft. addition, an umbrella bar, as well as upper and lower decks. The theater will be moved to the Rendezvous Lounge to make room for the new accommodations.The Grimaldi Lift Co. Patio will also be enlarged to hold 90 persons outdoors. A roof, fire pits and heaters are also on the menu for the outdoor facility.
Regrading will be completed on some of the slopes to accommodate inexperienced skiers, and the learning areas will be revamped to include more features for beginners. Two new lifts will be added to the Olympic Station, as well as 25 new snow guns, so skiing situations are not so dependent on natural weather conditions.
The winter attractions and venues are not the only items on the renovation list. The summer hiking trails will get a face lift to include improvements such as wider paths and resurfacing of those paths.
These upgrades and improvements, along with the completion of the other phases of the project, are the most extensive and expensive in the company’s history. Whistler Blackcomb is serious about becoming a major contender as a year-round recreation resort.
The Vail/Whistler merger is to be completed soon, and part of the agreement is to add Whistler Blackcomb to the impressive portfolio of resorts that are accessible on the Epic Pass. For now, visitors can enjoy full access on their Whistler season pass, or the Mountain Collective season pass.
These additions and attention to visitor experiences will most certainly draw record numbers of vacationers to the resort, and make Whistler Blackcomb an option for travelers, regardless of the time of year. In fact, with a nod to this new growth, the entire project has been deemed “Renaissance” and promises to be a boon to the company and the travel industry as a whole.