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Whistler Blackcomb will not reopen following province-mandated closure

'We did not make this decision lightly,' says Whistler Blackcomb COO
Whistler Blackcomb on March 29 - covid closure
The peak of Whistler Mountain is pictured on Monday, March 29. Whistler Blackcomb confirmed on March 30 that the resort will not re-open for spring skiing following the three-week COVID-19-related closure that B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry ordered on Monday.

Any remaining hopes Whistler skiers and riders might have held for slushy, lift-accessed laps later this spring have officially been dashed. 

Whistler Blackcomb will not resume winter operations for the remainder of the 2020-21 ski season when a new public health order mandating its closure lifts next month, the resort announced Tuesday, March 30.

The decision comes one day after B.C. Public Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry ordered the resort to shut down for a three-week "circuit-breaker" period in response to surging COVID-19 cases in Whistler, including numerous cases of the P1 Brazil variant. 

Prior to Monday's surprise announcement from the province, Whistler Mountain was scheduled to close on April 18, while Blackcomb Mountain was slated to stay open for spring riding until May 24. 

"After careful consideration of the new Provincial Health Order by the government of British Columbia, Blackcomb Mountain will not reopen winter operations when the order is scheduled to lift on April 19," read a news release from Whistler Blackcomb's parent company, Vail Resorts. 

“While the Provincial Health Order caught us all by surprise, we fully support the [provincial government’s] direction and we’re doing our part to comply.  At this time, we believe the best thing we can do to support the order is to begin winding down winter operations,” said Geoff Buchheister, Whistler Blackcomb's vice-president and chief operating officer, in the release. 

“We did not make this decision lightly as we know our employees and our community put so much effort into following our COVID operating guidelines so we could safely operate this season. Our full attention will now turn to getting our resort ready to safely open for summer.” 

Whistler Blackcomb is currently scheduled to open for summer operations on May 21, 2021. 

Earlier on Tuesday, the resort outlined eligibility rules for guests requiring refunds. All lift reservations, ski school and dining bookings made during this period will be cancelled and the resort will be communicating any refunds to guests.  

In a letter, Whistler Blackcomb says Epic Coverage Terms and Conditions may apply if you booked a priority reservation day before Dec. 15, 2020 to ski or ride between March 30 and April 4. 

If you qualify, Vail Resorts will automatically refund you with no actions required.