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Whistler Blackcomb unveils spring plans

Blackcomb Mountain will be open until May 24 this year, with Whistler Mountain set to close on April 18
Whistler Blackcomb will switch to spring hours and operations on April 19.

Whistler Blackcomb (WB) released details of its spring operations on Friday, March 19.

This year, Whistler Mountain will have its last day of operations on April 18, with Blackcomb Mountain open until the last day of the season, May 24.

Like in past years, spring hours will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We’re going to run the Excalibur Gondola [to give] access from the main village, Upper Village, and Base II,” said Jennifer Smith, West Coast corporate communications manager for Vail Resorts. “The [Blackcomb Day Lots] parking lots will all be open with free parking.”

With spring skiing set to get underway, WB is reminding skiers and riders that there are still Public Health Orders in place. “We really do want to stress for people it’s still very critical that they continue to follow the Public Health Order,” Smith said. “We know there’s a slight change in that we can gather with a consistent group of 10—that’s intended to be your bubble an a few more family members-type thing—while we see the light at the end of the tunnel there, we have all our safety protocols in place—masks and physical distancing on the hill.”

WB is also reminding people that the upcoming 4 p.m. closure is a strict one, for everyone’s safety.

“We become an industrial worksite after hours. It can be extremely dangerous for skiers and riders, but also for our people,” Smith said.

To that end, they have established designated uphill routes for backcountry travellers to avoid any safety issues, she added.

“We know people will be out there, so we’ve given them a specific route so we know and that’s how we adapt our industrial worksite,” Smith said.

Meanwhile, Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz sent out a letter on Friday stating that the company doesn’t plan to have a reservation system next season.

“For anyone worried that the absence of a reservation system will lead to longer lift lines, we have extensive learnings from this season around lift-loading efficiencies and are implementing new strategies to materially reduce wait times,” Katz wrote. 

The letter also said Vail Resorts has doubled its staff of customer service representatives since December and plan to quadruple their staff by May. “Our goal is to ensure that we can quickly answer your calls and messages and get you the information you need,” it reads.

Finally, Katz said there will be “big news” on March 23 about 2021/22 season passes with “exciting changes we believe you will very much appreciate.”