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La Niña Predictions Show Bumper Snow Year For Whistler Blackcomb

Skiier in powder at Whistler Blackcomb. Photo Mitch Winton

Feature image: Mitch Winton / Coast Mountain Photography

On April 14th 2016 the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a an official “La Niña Watch” – this means they’ve officially predicted that we will soon be waving goodbye to El Niño and saying “hello snow” to La Niña over as we move into the winter months. So what does that mean and why are we so excited?

Whistler Blackcomb to expect higher than average snowfall in 2016.17

Immediately after NOAA made their announcement, On The Snow released their annual snow forecast for the 2016.17 winter season saying:

we’ll see the heaviest snow in the Pacific Northwest, northern Intermountain West, Great Lakes and possibly parts of the Northeast

On The Snow’s meteorologist, Chris Tommer, also named Whistler among the “biggest winners” for the 2016.17 season and forecast that La Niña will likely give a 15-25% bump to Whistler Blackcomb’s average snowfall.

El Niño & La Niña explained

If all this talk of El Niño and La Niña over the last few years has left your head spinning and looking for dry land, check out this greta video from NOAA.

Save Up To 30% On Whistler Ski Accommodation For 2016.17

Beat the crowds you eager mountain folk. Book your winter ski or snowboard vacation now before everyone else to get fantastic prices with our early bird deals for this winter season at Whistler Blackcomb.

Follow this link to see all our early bird discounts: https://www.summitlodge.com/whistler-blackcomb-accommodation-deals/

Canadian Artist Brian Porter’s New Artwork At The Summit Lodge, Whistler

Last month we welcomed Ontario artist, Brian Porter to the Summit Lodge as our new featured artist.

Brian’s vibrant and lively wildlife portraits are on display in our lobby and can be purchased from the Plaza Galleries in Whistler Village.

Brian Porter Moose Whistler Brian Porter Artist Brian Porter IMG_0409

Brian Porter at the Summit Lodge Whistler IMG_0400

Brian Porter Artist In Front of His Work At The Summit Lodge Whistler IMG_0399

How Brian’s unique art work came to be is an inspiring story of adversity, serendipity, perseverance, and courage. After spending his youth traveling to places like Japan and Bali as a successful graffiti and mural artist, Brian suddenly found himself struggling to hold on to his artistic talent.

In 2008 an accident at work in 2008 left Brian with a traumatic brain injury that had him questioning if he’d ever draw again.

A full year went by without being able to create. No painting, drawing or sketching. Starting to feel as though he was losing a part of himself, Brian had a fortunate chance encounter with a stranger who changed the course of his life, she said “the old you is dead. You have to be reborn and accept who you are, what you’re good at, what you’re not good at. You have to figure out your limitations and become a new person”. And so Brian’s beautiful artwork was born.

You can read more about how the injury that shaped the future of this up-and-coming Canadian artist in the Pique Newsmagazine: http://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/painting-a-whole-new-life/Content?oid=2795044

Canada’s Greenest Employers: Whistler Blackcomb Named In Top 100

Hiking High Note Trail on Whistler Mountain
Whistler Blackcomb celebrated Earth Day by once again being named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers. For the 8th consecutive year, Whistler Blackcomb has been awarded this distinction by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for its proactive approach towards sustainability and energy conservation.

We take environmental sustainability seriously. We make an effort to integrate sustainable and energy conservation practices into everything we do so it is always wonderful to be recognized. It is by the grace of our dedicated employees that we are able to achieve this distinction year after year. – Dave Brownlie President and CEO at Whistler Blackcomb.

Whistler Blackcomb has worked with BC Hydro for over 10 years on conservation initiatives as a Power Smart Leader in British Columbia.  Conservation and sustainability are deeply embedded into the corporate culture at Whistler Blackcomb due to the operation and their staff and community being so highly connected to the natural environment.

The Every Step Counts team, a cross-divisional team of 15 employees, strategically plan and execute campaigns and programs to increase awareness and behavioural change both at work and at home.  In 2015, Whistler Blackcomb reduced energy consumption by a further 890,000 kWh through lighting and mechanical retrofits and operational changes.  That’s enough to power 89 homes in BC for a year. To date, the Every Step Counts team has changed out over 15,000 light bulbs to more energy-efficient models.  Whistler Blackcomb also has an employee carpooling program using fleet vehicles to transport staff members from Squamish and Pemberton that saves 360 tonnes of emissions per year.

“For years, we advanced the argument that building environmental values into your workplace culture helped organizations reduce waste and recognize the true costs of doing business,” says Richard Yerema, Managing Editor at Mediacorp. “Today, we’ve moved well beyond the business case to the point where we can say that a large part of Canadian society now expects the organizations they deal with to incorporate sustainable business practices into their operations.”

Now entering its 10th year, Canada’s Greenest Employers is an editorial competition that recognizes employers who lead the nation in creating a culture of environmental awareness. Whistler Blackcomb was chosen for, among other reasons, their long history of working with community stakeholders on local environmental initiatives. Whistler Blackcomb, through the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, matches dollar-for-dollar employee contributions to the environmental fund — over $340,000 has been donated to specific environmental projects since 2001. For more information about the recognition, please visit: http://content.eluta.ca/top-employer-whistler-blackcomb.

Feature image: Mitch Winton

For more information about Whistler Blackcomb’s environmental initiatives, please visit: http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/about-us/environment.

Whistler Blackcomb Renaissance: $345 Million In On-Mountain Developments

Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. has announced details of its plans for Whistler Blackcomb Renaissance, the largest and most exciting investment in the company’s history.  Renaissance will see over $345 million invested in three phases in new weather-independent experiences, on-mountain improvements, and real estate developments with the objective of accelerating the company’s vision of becoming the number one mountain resort in the world to play, to work and to invest.  These investments will further solidify and enhance the company’s reputation as one of the world’s greatest four-season mountain resorts and will build on its year-round appeal to all guests, particularly families.

Renaissance includes three phases of investment that will add new, year-round attractions and activities, see major on-mountain winter and summer improvements, and revitalize Blackcomb’s upper and lower base areas.

Whistler Blackcomb Renaissance

“Whistler Blackcomb Renaissance is the most progressive investment in our history and will leverage our tremendous success building our non-ski business. 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.” – Dave Brownlie, Whistler Blackcomb President and Chief Executive Officer

The company expects the three phases of Renaissance will include:

Whistler Renaissance Phase 1: The Watershed

the watershed at Whistler Blackcomb

An estimated $90 – $100 million investment in new mountain adventure experiences designed to redefine how guests play at Whistler Blackcomb.  The company expects phase one to bring the following new attractions and amenities to Whistler:

  • The Watershed, a year-round, indoor adventure center focusing on water-based play located at Blackcomb’s upper base. The company envisions the Watershed as a 163,000 square foot facility featuring activities like waterslides, the latest deep water surf simulator technology, cliff jumping and rock climbing experiences, a wave pool, hot and cold pools, bowling, food & beverage facilities and retail amenities, as well as other weather-independent activities;
  • 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 for kids;
  • New snow school learning zones, a night skiing zone, and enhanced snowmaking on Blackcomb Mountain; and
  • Major improvements to Whistler Blackcomb’s existing sightseeing, hiking and mountain biking experiences, with the addition of a suspension bridge and viewing platforms at the peak of Whistler Mountain, and an expansion of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park into the Creekside zone, including 50 kilometers of new downhill mountain biking trails.

The company anticipates Renaissance phase one will position Whistler Blackcomb to welcome new ski and non-ski visitors and generate meaningful incremental revenue and free cash flow once construction is complete.

Whistler Renaissance Phase 2: New Daylodge, Snow School Facility, & Townhomes

new luxuary townhomes-whistler renaissance

An estimated $105 – $115 million investment in a new day lodge and snow school facility within the Watershed indoor adventure center on Blackcomb Mountain, a two-storey parking complex at Blackcomb’s upper Base II area, and other infrastructure projects to lay the foundation for Renaissance phase three.  The company’s current plans for phase two also include the development and sale of approximately 60 high-end, ski-in ski-out townhomes near the Watershed, totaling approximately 160,000 net saleable square feet.

Whistler Renaissance Phase 3: Upper Village Revitalisation

Whistler Upper Village Revitalization

An estimated $140 – $150 million investment in a major revitalization of Blackcomb’s base area in the Upper Village, which the company currently expects to include an upgraded day lodge and skiers’ plaza, a new snow school facility and a luxury real estate development project.  Phase three is designed to transform Blackcomb’s base area into a vibrant, upscale village community.  The company anticipates Renaissance phase three will also include major on-mountain improvements such as lift improvements and the development of an indoor action sports training facility designed to expand the company’s youth development programs in skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking.

Whistler Blackcomb Renaissance Website & Master Plans

Whistler Blackcomb Renaissance Website

Additional information about Renaissance is available on the Renaissance website at http://renaissance.whistlerblackcomb.com/

Whistler Blackcomb Master Plans

The Company’s draft master plans are available at http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/holdings/financial-reports-filing-documents

Get $500+ Discount Off 2016/17 Whistler Blackcomb Passes

Snowboarder in waist deep powder at Whistler Blackcomb March 2016

With spring officially underway, Whistler Blackcomb is excited to announce guests can get almost 29% off their 2016.17 Season Passes and EDGE Cards before May 2, 2016.Guests can purchase their 2016/17 Season Passes now by placing a down payment of only $199 CAD!

**EXTENDED to MAY 9 2016**

A strong year of snowfall has allowed for Whistler Blackcomb’s current winter season to be extended until May 30. Guests who purchase their 2016/17 Season Passes before May 2 will not only lock in the guaranteed best deal, they will also receive unlimited spring skiing from March 28 to May 30, 2016.

Combine that with the fact we’re giving everyone up to 30% of their 2016/17 Whistler accomodation and you have no reason to miss these super, early bird deals!

Whistler Blackcomb 2016/17 EDGE Cards

Residents of Canada, Washington State and Oregon State can ski for as little as $69 CAD per day next season by purchasing their 2016/17 EDGE Cards before May 2, 2016. Not only will guests receive the guaranteed best rates, they also receive some incredible bonus offers. Five and ten day 2016/17 EDGE Cards purchased before May 2, 2016 come with unlimited early season skiing next winter from Opening Day to December 16, 2016. Guests can also add unlimited spring skiing to the purchase of a 2016/17 five or ten day EDGE Card for an additional $79 CAD.

Whistler Blackcomb ticket price 2016/17 recap:

Unlimited Season Pass – $1,439 CAD / $1,107 USD* until May 2, 2016

  • Ski or ride unlimited days next winter 2016/17.
  • Unlimited hiking & sightseeing in summer 2016 and summer 2017.
  • Payment plan option: $199+ tax down by May 2, balance due September 7, 2016.
  • 50 per cent off lift tickets at Sun Peaks Resort and eleven Mountain Collective partner resorts.
  • BONUS Adult, parent and senior Passholders receive two bring-a-friend tickets for the 2016/17 ski season (blackout daysDec. 27-30, 2016).
  • BONUS Unlimited spring skiing from March 28 to May 30, 2016 for new Passholders.


Ten Day EDGE Card – $689 CAD / $530 USD* until May 2, 2016

  • Available for residents of Canada, Oregon and Washington State.
  • Ski or ride any ten days next winter 2016/17, with a discount on subsequent days.
  • Payment plan option: $199+tax down by May 2, balance due September 7, 2016.
  • Add unlimited spring skiing this season from March 28 to May 30, 2016 for only $79. Valued at up to $549.
  • BONUS Unlimited early season skiing from Opening Day (November 24) to December 16, 2016.
  • BONUS PEAK 2 PEAK 360 ticket in summer 2016, for personal use.


Five Day EDGE Card – $399 CAD / $307 USD* until May 2, 2016

  • Available for residents of Canada, Oregon and Washington State.
  • Ski or ride any five days next winter 2016.17, with a discount on subsequent days.
  • Add unlimited spring skiing this season from March 28 to May 30, 2016 for only $79. Valued at up to $549.
  • BONUS Unlimited early season skiing from Opening Day (November 24) to December 16, 2016.
  • BONUS PEAK 2 PEAK 360 ticket in summer 2016, for personal use.


Three Day EDGE Card – $269 CAD / $207 USD* until May 2, 2016

  • Available for residents of Canada, Oregon and Washington State.
  • Ski or ride any three days next winter 2016/17, with a discount on subsequent days.


*All prices quoted in CAD funds unless otherwise specified. All prices are subject to 5% GST. *USD rates are based on an exchange rate of $1.30 CAD per $1.00 USD, rounded to the nearest dollar. Actual rate may vary. All purchases are transacted in Canadian dollars. Prices shown at “Adult” rates only.

Guests looking to purchase a winter 2016/17 Season Pass or EDGE Card can visit whistlerblackcomb.com/save or call 1-866-218-9689.

Whistler Blackcomb extends season to May 30 after epic March snow

Whistler Blackcomb Extends Winter Season

After officially surpassing its average annual snowfall of 1,163cm (458in), Whistler Blackcomb has decided to extend its ski season by an additional week, pushing the closing date of Blackcomb Mountain to May 30, 2016.

Whistler Blackcomb has received 1,177cm (463in) of snow so far this winter and, with a current snow base of 339cm (133in), the resort is primed to deliver excellent conditions for skiing and riding through the spring.

Whistler Mountain’s last day of winter operations will remain April 17

“We couldn’t be happier with how the season has unfolded,” says Doug MacFarlane, Director of Mountain Operations at Whistler Blackcomb. “We have received consistent consecutive storm cycles combined with low temperatures, creating great conditions for skiing and snowboarding. So far in March alone we have seen 292cm or 115 inches of snow, which is well above the March average of 241cm (95in). We are thrilled the conditions have allowed us to offer our guests an additional seven days of great spring skiing and snowboarding.”

Whistler Blackcomb Snow Statistics

  • 1177cm/463in total snowfall this season
  • 292cm/115in snow so far in the month of March 2016
  • Whistler Blackcomb’s 10 year annual average snowfall is 1,163cm (458in)
  • Whistler Blackcomb has one of the longest ski/snowboard seasons in North America, with operations on Blackcomb Mountain now continuing through to May 30
  • Whistler Blackcomb boasts some of the best spring skiing in the world
  • The event line-up at Whistler Blackcomb continues all season long with the World Ski & Snowboard Festival taking place April 8-17, 2016

Whistler Snow Forecast: March Kicking Off With 110cm In 6 Days

March is notoriously one of the best months for snowfall in Whistler. While the temperatures in the valley turn more spring-like, the alpine fiercely holds on to winter giving us great spring skiing conditions, and this year is no different.

For our guests, March is also one of their favourite times of the year to visit and one of the best months to visit Whistler midweek (more on this further down the post).

This year March is wasting no time getting started. According to snow-forecast.com March 1st is going to deliver 34cm of snow with a further 70cm or so through the week, at mid-mountain. See for yourself: snow-forecast.com/resorts/Whistler-Blackcomb/6day/mid

March brings 110cm of snow to Whistler in the first week

When looking at 10 years of historical data, we see that Whistler Blackcomb receives most of its annual snowfall in November, December, January and March.

whistler blackcomb monthly snowfall comparision
image from whistlerblackcomb.com

How Whistler’s Snowfall Stacks Up

Below is a table of how Whistler Blackcomb snowfall and terrain stacks up against 7 of the best resorts in North America. It’s no wonder we’re awarded North America’s best ski resort time and time again.

How Whistler Blackcomb stacks up against other resorts
image from whistlerblackcomb.com

Why Our Guests Love Midweek Skiing In March The Most

Although November, December, and January see almost as much snow as March, they’re some of the busiest months in the resort which isn’t ideal if you’re looking for a relaxing break. March, however, is a double hitter – it’s the biggest month for snowfall but also one of the quietest in terms of visitors to Whistler. And, if you couple that with visiting midweek, well, you’re going to have the slopes all to yourself.

Just a few reasons our guests love midweek in March:

  • lift lines are shorter
  • solo powder laps
  • room on the groomers for sweeping carves
  • traffic is quiet on the highway
  • restaurants and bars are peaceful

Summit Lodge Midweek Spring Special

For travellers who reclaim their weekends back from the masses, and take a midweek break instead, we have a little surprise for you. See the full special here: summitlodge.com/whistler-midweek-special-april-may-2016/

When you book a two night midweek stay for between March 1 – April 30 you can choose one of the following little treats:

Treat 1: Taps for 2 at the award-winning Elements Urban Tapas Parlour

Win dinner for 2 at Elements Whistler

Treat 2: Two free hot waxes (ski/snowboard), a bottle of wine, plus a free room upgrade

Ski and snowboard tuning at Underground

How To Book

If this sounds tempting enough to break you away from the weekend routine, you can book the Midweek Spring Special by calling the Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel on (604)-932­-2778.

Then follow our #DontWaitForFriday hashtag on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for the local scoop on what’s happening in Whistler from Monday – Thursday.

Whistler Snowforecast: 154cm In The Next 5 Days

Feb 12, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 07.59.51

Many of our guests have said “this is it”, this is the year they’ve been waiting for.

After 2 seasons of lower than average snowfall, Whistler is back in its groove and showing the world once again why there’s nowhere else quite like it. We’re just about half way through the winter season and Whistler Blackcomb has received over 7 meters of snowfall, and to top that March is yet to come – the month that historically brings the most snow.

Whistler snow forecast: February 12 – 17, 2016

There’s a huge storm brewing over Whistler, predicted to bring around 154 cm in just 6 days. If you’ve never experienced Whistler in the spring, 2016 is the year. The slopes are quiet, the lift lines are short, and the snow is deep. Sound like heaven to you? It sure does to us.

So what are you waiting for?


Snowboarding Prime Minister Trudeau Plugs Whistler On CNN

This week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Davos, Switzerland representing Canada at the World Economic Forum. Where, during an interview for the CNN segment, Fareed Zakaria GPS, the PM reminisced on his time as snowboard instructor at Whistler Blackcomb and unabashedly told the audience they “just have just got to come to Whistler”.

Watch the segment of Prime Minister Trudeau’s interview where he plugs Whistler to the crowd.

Full interview with PM Trudeau: https://youtu.be/Md8ofqVNB-E


Canada’s Snowboarding Prime Minister

prime minister trudeau snowboard instructor

As the second youngest Prime Minster in Canadian history and a graduate of the University of British Columbia, it’s not surprising that PM Trudeau learned to snowboard. In an interview with CBC, one of Justin Trudeau’s snowboarding pals said that the now PM would drive up to Whistler on weekends to teach the Whistler Blackcomb Ride Tribe programs, designed to get teens into snowboarding.

Although Justin is the son of former Prime Minster Pierr Trudeau, it would seems that while he was at university he lived a regular ski/snowboard bum life just like the rest of us:

“Justin drove an exceptionally crappy car. We used to nickname it the Staff Car. More often than not, we’d be huddled around a little heater in the front seat. I’d have to hop out at intersections and push the car so it wouldn’t die. It was always a miracle we made it to where we were going.” – univeristy friend Sean Smillie, in an interview with CBC: Justin Trudeau built for speed and risk

We think you’ll agree that Canada gets points for having the coolest Prime Minister, ever.

justin-trudeau snowboarding


Snow High, Dollar Low: Best US to Canadian Dollar Exchange Rate In 15 Years

Canadian Dollar Exchange Rate

If there has ever been a time to tick Whistler off your bucket-list, it might just be now. Two forces are at play that are making winter vacations more affordable and more fun than ever before.

It would seem that Mother Nature and the economy are aligned to bring you the most snow for the lowest price.

1. The Whistler is having the 4th biggest snowfall in the last 10 years

It’s true, we’ve done the math. Our base currently stands at 169cm, and over the first 2 months of the season Whistler has received over 5 meters of snowfall.

2. The Canadian Dollar currently sits at 69 cents US

Rate as of January 18, 2016. Check for yourselves with our new Quick Currency Calculator powered by Google Finance: https://www.summitlodge.com/currency-converter-canadian-dollar/

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 10.35.00 AM

Falling Canadian Dollar is music to the ears of US, UK and Australian travellers

As the Canadian Dollar continues to fall against most other major currencies, it’s not all bad news. In fact it’s good news for travellers coming to Canada from the US, the UK, and Australia. This week the Loonie opened at 69 cents for each US dollar, an exchange rate that hasn’t been seen since since April 2000.

That’s the equivalent of a huge 31% discount on your accommodation, lift passes, rentals, dining, and travel costs.

Related post: 12 Awesome Things That Are 50% In Whistler For Brits

And there’s more good news for people looking to travel to Canada in the summer, according to an article in Blooomberg Business , as the year progresses the Canadian Dollar is projected reach an all-time low of 59 cents US.

So why wait? The stars are aligned, the snow is falling, and the savings are high!

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