Great news for road trippers and adventure seekers: Whistler Blackcomb announced Thursday they will open for the summer on June 29.
With an emphasis on sightseeing and mountain biking as the key recreational activities offered by the ski resort, Whistler Blackcomb says the area will re-open "with a limited summer footprint."
On March 14, Whistler Blackcomb shut down for what they anticipated would be a one-week period to evaluate their response to COVID-19 in B.C. However, the ski resort was not able to fully re-open, and is now aiming to welcome guests back again, provided B.C. moves into "Phase 3" of its "Restart Plan," - a highly anticipated move officials suggested this week could be announced as soon as Monday, June 22.
In a media release, operating company Vail Resorts said Whistler Blackcomb will have a number of amenities open for use: "The Whistler Village Gondola, PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola and Blackcomb Gondola will bring hikers and sightseeing guests up the mountains, and the Whistler Mountain Bike Park will open with the Fitz and Garbanzo zones. Grab ‘n’ go food options will also be available at the Rendezvous, Garbanzo Bike and Bean, and the Roundhouse Lodge."
Whistler Blackcomb further indicates their plans to adhere to company guidelines for safety, including "physical distancing protocols, face covering requirements, enhanced cleaning measures, employee health screenings and safety training, cashless transactions, and revisions to regularly offered programs and services." Those protocols have been matched for each Vail Resorts property to local guidelines established by health officials.
“Whistler is a special place for all of British Columbia and we are excited to welcome guests back to our community, to the mountains and lifestyle we are known for around the world,” said Geoff Buchheister, Whistler Blackcomb chief operating officer. “We are lucky this environment lends itself to physical distancing, so we can enjoy a safe, healthy space to recreate, but we also do know we must proceed with caution. This resort is very proud to be a part of a province that has succeeded so thoroughly in flattening its COVID-19 curve. We ask our guests to continue to be vigilant and to ensure the experience is safe for every guest and employee by following all of our new guidelines. As summer progresses, we look forward to being able to safely open more activities on the mountain.”