WHISTLER, BC, September 21, 2005 - Whistler Resort awoke this morning to sub-zero temperatures in the alpine region, and the snow guns fired up for the first time last night in preparation for the upcoming winter season.
"We flew our new guns into place yesterday by chopper," says Bob Pasch, Whistler Blackcomb's snowmaking manager. "We began to make snow in the alpine last night, and tested out our new infrastructure to ensure everything's ready for the season. I'm happy to report all is in order."
With cold nights forecasted for the next few days, Whistler Blackcomb could start to see snow accumulation shortly. "Our guns are poised and ready to go," says Pasch. "We will take advantage of every opportunity to make snow, which will enhance the base for the natural snow that is most certainly on its way."
Whistler Blackcomb invested heavily this summer into snowmaking upgrades and summer grooming, to provide improved snow conditions and greater terrain access in the early and late season.
"We're looking at an official opening on November 24 right now," says Stuart Rempel, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Whistler Blackcomb. "We'll open as soon as we can though. If Ullr (Norse god of snow) is good to us this fall, we'll open early."
No indication has been provided by Ullr yet as to what opening day will be, but the cold nights and early snowmaking opportunity has the resort primed waiting for the first snowfall to the valley.
"There are a lot of excited people in town," says Rempel. "The Matchstick Productions' ski movie world premiere happened at the Roundhouse Lodge last Thursday night, which got everyone pumped for a big winter. We're ready!"
Whistler Blackcomb is an Intrawest resort. Intrawest Corporation is one of the world's leading destination resort and adventure travel companies. Intrawest has interests in 10 mountain resorts in North America's most popular mountain destinations, including Whistler Blackcomb, a host venue for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. The company owns Canadian Mountain Holidays, the largest heli-skiing operation in the world, and a 67 percent interest in Abercrombie & Kent, the world leader in luxury adventure travel. The Intrawest network also includes Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Florida and Club Intrawest - a private resort club with nine locations throughout North America. Intrawest is developing five additional resort village developments at locations in North America and Europe. Intrawest is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. For more information, visit www.intrawest.com.