WHISTLER, BC, September 18, 2008 –Whistler Blackcomb’s PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola will officially open to the public December 12, 2008. This engineering marvel is set to become a new Canadian tourism icon, and will forever revolutionize the way visitors experience this four-season resort.
“This spring we had to move massive amounts of snow so it was a slow start but we have been able to stay on track with each construction phase,” says Rick Temple, PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola Construction Manager. “To be at this point in construction at this time is unheard of. Typically for a lift installation you are fighting the weather in November to get things done. However due to the incredible work by everyone involved we are ahead of schedule. We are very excited to have our official opening day announced and are looking forward to the day when our guests can experience this gondola.”
The arrival of 28 Sky Cabins, including two with glass floors, and the completion of the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola ropework has set the stage for what will be the biggest construction milestone of the lift installation – the first Sky Cabin to cross the record-breaking 3 kilometre/1.88 mile, unsupported span between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.
Through October and November load testing will take place as well as evacuation training and simulations, and operator training. The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola will also be examined by the British Columbia Safety Authority through their Passenger Ropeways Safety Program which regulates the safety of lifts.
“There is always a ton of anticipation for the winter season and being able to announce the official opening for the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola gives our guests something else to look forward to this winter, a definitive date to mark on their calendars,” says Dave Brownlie President and Chief Operating Officer of Whistler Blackcomb. “We know that on December 12, the way our guests use Whistler Blackcomb will be changed forever and we are extremely excited for that day to come.”
Construction progress of the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola is captured daily via webcams, and weekly via photography and construction blogs on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola microsite at http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com. The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola will open in December.
Consistently ranked as North America's top ski and snowboard resort, Whistler Blackcomb continues to raise the level of mountain excitement for its guests. With the landmark PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola project underway, the return of the popular Symphony Amphitheatre, and a host of other on-mountain improvements, this winter promises to be one of the most exciting yet. Located a scenic two-hour drive north of Vancouver up the spectacular 'Sea to Sky' Highway, this resort is home to the continent's two greatest vertical-rise ski mountains – Whistler and Blackcomb. With over 17 alpine bowls, four glaciers, 200 trails, 8,171 acres of skiable terrain and a one mile vertical rise, the choices of where and what to ski/ride at Whistler Blackcomb from beginner to advanced terrain are staggering. Joined at the base by a vibrant pedestrian village filled with restaurants, patios, cafes, shops, galleries and spas, and surrounded by breathtaking scenery, this four season resort is spectacular. Check it all out at http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com
About Intrawest ULC
Intrawest is a world leader in experiential destination resorts. The company has interests in ten resorts at North America’s most popular mountain destinations including Whistler Blackcomb, a host venue for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Intrawest network also includes Canadian Mountain Holidays, the largest heli-skiing operation in the world, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Florida and Club Intrawest—a private resort club with locations throughout North America. In addition, Intrawest develops real estate at its resorts and at other locations across North America and in Europe. Intrawest is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. For more information, visit http://www.intrawest.com