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Visits to Whistler growing with best snow conditions in North America

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Photo credit: Mike Crane / Tourism Whistler

Note to media: Images of fresh snow in Whistler are available for editorial use. Access our Fresh Images library on Tourism Whistler’s online media room. Suggested Tweet: La Niña loves #Whistler, which has received 17 feet of snow so far; another 10 inches of snowfall expected this week http://bit.ly/sJUIXJ

Whistler, B.C. – With the best snow conditions in North America, the resort of Whistler is seeing the business benefits of a La Niña winter – and it’s only January.While many resorts in North America are struggling with well-below average snow coverage, Whistler has received 17 feet of snowfall in the first two months of the winter season and boasts 8,171 skiable acres of terrain – more than any other destination in the United States and Canada. In fact, compared to major resorts in Colorado, Utah and California, Whistler has more than twice the amount of snow. Since Christmas Eve, more snow has fallen in Whistler (six feet) than major Californian resorts have received season to date.

Last year the resort received more than 52 feet of snowfall, shattering the average annual accumulation of 34 feet, and La Niña is helping pave the way for a repeat performance this year. The first two months of Whistler Blackcomb’s 2011/ 2012 winter season have been excellent, with 517 centimetres (203 inches) of total snowfall, 83 centimetres (32 inches) in the last seven days and 29 centimetres (11 inches) in the last 24 hours. And the forecast is calling for another 25 centimetres (10 inches) of snow on the mountains over the next four days.Not only does Whistler have the best snow – it also has the best playground. Whistler Blackcomb offers two mountains that rise one vertical mile from the valley floor, more than 200 trails, three glaciers, 37 lifts, 16 alpine bowls and the world-record breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola – plus one of the longest seasons in North America, running through late April with summer glacier skiing and riding until late July.Tourism Whistler’s research indicates that the pace of bookings leading up to the recent holiday period was ahead of last year and very strong compared to previous years. On the whole, December 2011 will stand as one of the resort’s busier Decembers on record – and the snowy, vibrant but not overly crowded village provided the perfect winter setting for vacationers.Several factors affecting the positive results include: the success of Tourism Whistler’s marketing efforts following the unprecedented exposure from the 2010 Winter Games; gains in early bookings through tour operators and from the resort’s early booking offers; Whistler’s exceptional snow conditions; and the interest generated by the Whistler Sabbatical Project, the resort’s 2011/ 2012 winter marketing campaign.Looking ahead, the pace of bookings for the next several months is well ahead of last year. The forecast is for this winter season to be up by at least four per cent compared to 2010/ 2011, in terms of overall room nights booked. This is particularly notable, given the lingering impact on travel due to economic volatility in the international marketplace.Whistler’s reputation as a winter destination with consistent snow coverage has played a major role in resort’s long-term success. And a major contributor to the recent growth in bookings has undoubtedly been La Niña – a weather pattern which, for Whistler, means cooler than normal temperatures and heavy precipitation. La Niña has delivered to Whistler what many visitors are having trouble finding at other North American destinations; lots and lots of snow. And while bookings are up, there are still plenty of accommodation options in the resort – from economy and deluxe to luxury – for those interested in a snowy Whistler winter vacation.In addition to the sensational snow conditions, guests to Whistler also have several new activity options this winter, including: new public ride programs for bobsleigh and skeleton that provide guests with the thrill of gliding down the track at more than 100 kilometres per hour at the Whistler Sliding Centre; and a new outdoor skating surface, free to the public, in the heart of Whistler Village.Also new this winter, is the Whistler Sabbatical Project, Tourism Whistler’s winter-long promotion offering weekly prizes in addition to the ultimate grand prize of a month-long Whistler stay – including accommodation, lift tickets, equipment, transportation, a salary and a series of unique Whistler experiences. Contest closes January 31, 2012. Visit the Whistler Sabbatical Project at whistler.com/wouldyoudoit Whistler-based travel consultants at whistler.com can also customize a vacation package, taking care of flights, transportation, accommodation and activities. Call 1.800.WHISTLER (1.800.944.7853) to request a no-obligation quote or visit whistler.com for more details and offers.

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Whistler is Canada’s premier year-round leisure and meeting destination located in the Coast Mountains 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Consistently rated the top ski resort in North America, Whistler was the Host Mountain Resort of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The resort offers an extensive range of accommodations totaling 10,000 bedrooms among 24 hotels as well as townhomes, condos, B&Bs and chalets. Whistler also boasts more than 100 restaurants and bars, 200 retail shops, 25 spas and countless activity options from world-renowned skiing and snowboarding, mountain biking and golf, to hiking, rock climbing, and watersports. The Resort Municipality of Whistler is home to a diverse community of more than 10,000 permanent residents.Tourism Whistler is the member-based marketing and sales organization representing Whistler, operating the Whistler Conference Centre, Whistler Golf Club, Whistler Visitor Centre, as well as 1.800.WHISTLER and whistler.com – Whistler’s official source for visitor bookings and information. As the convention and visitors bureau for the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Tourism Whistler represents more than 7,000 members who own, manage and operate properties or businesses on resort lands including hotels, restaurants, activity operators and retail shops.Media can visit whistler.com/media for Whistler facts, media releases, story starters, local personality profiles and access to images and B-roll.Media ContactPatricia Westerholm
Specialist, Corporate Communications
T: 604.938.2748
E: pwesterholm@tourismwhistler.com
W: www.whistler.com/media
T: www.twitter.com/mediaTWhistler
F: www.facebook.com/GoWhistler

Whistler racks up unprecedented string of awards: Recognized for accommodation, dining, meetings space, events, activities and amenities

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Whistler, B.C. - Whistler is ‘the’ place to enjoy summer and, if the bustling crowds aren’t proof enough, the resort just locked up a string of awards from magazines such as Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveller, up! and Departures – reaffirming its status as a top year-round destination.

“Tourism Whistler congratulates its members on the recognition received by such prestigious outlets,” said Breton Murphy, senior manager of communications for Tourism Whistler. “We’re proud that leading journalists in the travel industry, and visitors who’ve chosen Whistler as their destination, are encouraging others to experience what we have to offer. Endorsements like these reflect a real commitment by our community to provide an exceptional experience for our visitors.”

Departures, the luxury U.S. lifestyle magazine published by American Express, recently named Whistler as one of the 10 perfect summer mountain towns , highlighting the Nita Lake Lodge, Slow Food Cycle Sunday, Kokanee Crankworx mountain bike festival, Rim Rock Café, Bearfoot Bistro, PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola and Ziptrek Ecotours.

Readers of Westjet’s inflight magazine, up!, selected Whistler Blackcomb as one of the best-value travel experiences in Canada. Notes the magazine: “Readers remain smitten with the epic terrain and 10 metres of annual white stuff that blankets this West Coast ski resort like a fluffy duvet. Top marks also went to the 18 on-the-hill restos.”

Travel + Leisure named the Four Seasons Resort Whistler to its list of the top resorts in Canada and the United States. The hotel was only one of three Canadian properties to make the list, and came in at number 25, moving up 11 spots from last year’s list. “The Four Seasons’ first Canadian ski resort hugs the base of Blackcomb Mountain, a short walk to the Whistler-Blackcomb lifts and the shops and restaurants of the quaint Whistler Village,” reads the magazine’s acknowlegment. “The 273 spacious and warm rooms are done up in ochre red, earthy green and golden brown and have cherrywood doors, roaring fireplaces, and trim, private balconies.”

The Four Seasons Resort Whistler was also recognized last month by Condé Nast Traveller magazine’s UK readers, ranking its spa at as one of the top 10 hotel spas in the Americas and the Caribbean.

This spring the Toronto Sun tipped its hat to Nita Lake Lodge as one of Canada’s Top 10 Most Luxurious Hotels , noting: “This luxury lodge is close to the best Whistler has to offer, from golf courses to skiing.”

Vancouver Magazine’s 2011 restaurant awards saw Araxi selected as the Best Whistler Restaurant with finalists including Bearfoot Bistro, Sidecut, Fifty-Two 80 Bistro & Bar and Aura.

Araxi, one of Whistler’s most acclaimed restaurants, was also named the Best Whistler Restaurant in the Georgia Straight Golden Plate Awards and earlier this year, received the Silver Wine List award from the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival (with honourable mentions to The Fairmont Chateau Whistler’s Wine Room and Ric’s Grill).

On the Meetings and Incentive front, Whistler has also been recognized as a top meetings destination, receiving a number of nods from the Northwest Meetings + Events magazine, the premier magazine for meetings and events professionals.

The magazine released its Readers’ Choice awards for 2011 and Whistler tops the list with the Best Attraction award for British Columbia. “The quintessential British Columbian experience can be found at Whistler Village,” notes the magazine. “Guests can experience skiing, hiking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, zip-lining and even try their hand at the biathlon course.”

Runner-up in the Best Conference Venue category was the Whistler Conference Centre and Best Resort award went to the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. The magazine also highlighted Whistler meeting facilities including the Four Seasons Resort Whistler and the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.

To find out more about what Whistler has to offer this summer, visit www.whistler.com or call 1.800.WHISTLER. Local reservation agents can help build the ideal vacation package.

Media can visit whistler.com/media for Whistler facts, media releases, story starters, local personality profiles and access to images and B-roll.

Whistler is Canada’s premier year-round leisure and meeting destination located in the Coast Mountains 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Consistently rated the top ski resort in North America for the past 12 years in a row, Whistler was the Host Mountain Resort of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The resort offers an extensive range of accommodations totaling 10,000 bedrooms among 24 hotels as well as townhomes, condos, B&Bs and chalets. Whistler also boasts more than 100 restaurants and bars, 200 retail shops, 25 spas and countless activity options from world-renowned skiing and snowboarding, mountain biking and golf, to hiking, rock climbing, and watersports. The Resort Municipality of Whistler is home to a diverse community of more than 9,000 permanent residents.

Tourism Whistler is the member-based marketing and sales organization representing Whistler, operating the Whistler Conference Centre, Whistler Golf Club, Whistler Visitor Centre, as well as 1.800.WHISTLER and whistler.com – Whistler’s official source for visitor bookings and information. As the convention and visitors bureau for the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Tourism Whistler represents more than 7,000 members who own, manage and operate properties or businesses on resort lands including hotels, restaurants, activity operators and retail shops.

Tourism Whistler Media Contacts

Kerry Duff
Manager, Destination Media Relations
T: 604.938.2709
E: kduff@tourismwhistler.com

Leah Adams-Chute
Coordinator, Media Relations
T: 604.938.2790
E: ladams-chute@tourismwhistler.com

W: whistler.com/media
T: @mediaTWhistler
F: Facebook.com/GoWhistler

Whistler Blackcomb To Open Six Days Early: Friday, November 19

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Winter Wonderland awaits; La Nina and incredible snowmaking infrastructure deliver early start to the season at Whistler Blackcomb

WHISTLER, BC, Friday, November 12, 2010 – Few things get skiers and riders more excited than the words “early opening,” which is why Whistler Blackcomb is thrilled to announce that Whistler Mountain will open six days early, on Friday, November 19. Blackcomb Mountain will open on Thursday, November 25, Whistler Blackcomb’s official opening day.

“New snow and low freezing levels, along with the hard work of our mountain operations, grooming, and snowmaking teams mean we can open Whistler Mountain on Friday, November 19,” says Doug MacFarlane, mountain manager at Whistler Blackcomb. “Though early season conditions will apply, having those first few turns of the season is a great feeling and we’re happy to make that happen for our guests six days earlier than planned.”

Whistler Mountain will open on Friday, November 19 at 8:30am. Lift and terrain details will be announced early next week.

Early season conditions apply and caution should be exercised at all times as the terrain that will be available is best-suited for intermediate to advanced riders and skiers. With early season conditions it is extra important all mountain signage is obeyed and guests stay within the marked operational boundary. The signage and rope to look for will say “Temporary Boundary” during the early season. With early season snow-pack, guests should be aware of rocks and other hazards below the snow surface.

Starting November 15th, the Snow Report will be updated daily and can be listened to online or by calling 604-932-4211 in Whistler, 604-687-7507 in Vancouver, or toll-free at 1-800-766-0449.

Stay up-to-date on what’s open, mountain conditions, temperatures, snowfall accumulation, forecasts and stay and ski/ride deals at www.whistlerblackcomb.com.

About Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb, the official alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, is situated in the Resort Municipality of Whistler located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia 125 kilometres (78 miles) from Vancouver, British Columbia. North America’s premier four-season mountain resort, Whistler and Blackcomb are two side-by-side mountains, connected by the world record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, which combined offer: over 200 marked runs, over 8,000 acres of terrain, 14 alpine bowls, three glaciers, receives on average over 1,090 centimetres (430 inches) of snow annually, and offers one of the longest ski seasons in North America. In the summer, Whistler Blackcomb offers a variety of activities, including hiking and biking trails, the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, and sightseeing on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. For more information, visit whistlerblackcomb.com.

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