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Vail Resorts to raise Whistler Blackcomb minimum hourly wage

Resorts of the Canadian Rockies to join Epic Pass for 2018-19 ski season

Whistler Blackcomb employees making minimum wage can expect to see higher pay statements in the coming months.

Effective summer season 2018, Whistler Blackcomb's hourly minimum wage will increase to $13 from $11.35, announced Vail Resorts in a letter sent to employees on Monday. Vail Resorts will also be raising hourly minimum wages across its United States resorts.

"The Vail Resorts minimum wage for each location is being set based on the local dynamics in each market," explained Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz in the email, adding that the company plans to undertake "a significant number" of wage adjustments in the coming year, including for employees making just over minimum wage.

In Whistler, the newly adjusted wage will surpass the provincial minimum wage, set to rise by $1.30 to $12.65 in June.

"Across the business, I am constantly impressed by the hard work and passion of our employees...We are continuously reviewing how we further invest in you, including competitive compensation, housing, benefits and wellness programs, ongoing leadership development and career growth opportunities throughout Vail Resorts. We anticipate additional announcements on all these fronts as we head into next season," Katz wrote.

On Monday, Vail Resorts also announced the inclusion of the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (RCR) in the 2018-19 Epic Pass.

Fernie Alpine Resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and Kimberley Alpine Resort in British Columbia, Nakiska Ski Area in Alberta, and Mont Sainte Anne and Stoneham in Quebec will join the Epic Pass in a "long-term alliance."

As part of the deal, Epic and Epic 7-Day pass holders will receive seven days of skiing or snowboarding with no blackout dates at RCR. Following use of the seven days, pass holders will receive 50 per cent off additional lift tickets at RCR. Epic 4-Day Pass holders will get up to four days of skiing or snowboarding at RCR without blackout dates, after which they'll also be entitled to 50 per cent off additional lift tickets.

RCR Rockies Pass, Fernie Season Pass, Kicking Horse Season Pass, Kimberley Season Pass, Mont Saint Anne and Stoneham Season Pass holders will get 50 per cent off lift tickets at all Vail Resorts-owned mountains.

"We're thrilled to welcome the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies on the Epic Pass for the 2018-19 winter season, offering skiers and snowboarders world-class mountain resorts in eight countries. The family of ski resorts that make up RCR are some of the most sought after winter playgrounds for skiers and snowboarders around the world," said Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts in a statement.

The announcement brings the total amount of resorts available to Epic Pass holders world wide to 61.