PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola

PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola launch next week puts Whistler over the top as winter – and summer – destination

Whistler, B.C. – Canada’s newest tourism icon will be unveiled in Whistler on December 12 with the opening of the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola at Whistler Blackcomb – further establishing this world-class resort as a must-see destination.

“We are already one of the largest, most popular and most celebrated ski and snowboard resorts in North America, but the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola is a tourism product that further separates Whistler from every other ski and snowboard destination on this continent,” says Barrett Fisher, president and CEO of Tourism Whistler, the member-based marketing organization that promotes the resort to the world. “We will feel the impacts from the global economic uncertainty in the short-term, but products like the new PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola will strategically set us apart and position us for success for the long-term. The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola strengthens Whistler’s position as a tourism destination significantly.”

Whistler Blackcomb’s ski area is comprised of two mountains, Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain. The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola travels across the valley between the two, transporting winter skiers and snowboarders and summer hikers and sightseers between Whistler Mountain’s Roundhouse Lodge to the Rendezvous Lodge on Blackcomb Mountain. While the two mountains have been connected at their bases for years and it was possible to ski both in a day, the gondola makes it easy by travelling the 4.4 kilometres (2.73 miles) between the two mountains in just 11 minutes. It’s an engineering feat and a world record-breaker: the unsupported cable span between the two middle towers is the world’s longest at 3.024 kilometres (1.88 miles).

Tourism Whistler’s marketing team and resort partners realized last summer that success this winter season would require the resort to be strategic in terms of pricing. “We’ve been aggressive with pricing our package deals, and as a result, visitors to Whistler can take advantage of great ski and accommodation packages that provide exceptional value,” says Fisher. “If you add in new products like the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, and the energy being created this winter by World Cup events at our Olympic and Paralympic venues, there are more reasons than ever to come to Whistler. As a tourism destination, we are very fortunate.”

The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre is a celebration of First Nations culture, art, dance and cuisine which opened last July in Whistler, and it’s been both a recognition that Whistler sits on traditional First Nations territory and a valuable new cultural tourism attraction for Whistler.

Another attraction for Whistler visitors this winter is the series of nine World Cup events at Whistler’s three Olympic venues. Whistler is the official Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Winter Games, and there are biathlon, ski jumping and Nordic combined events at the Whistler Olympic Park; luge, skeleton and bobsleigh at the Whistler Sliding Centre; and alpine skiing at Whistler Creekside. “This gives visitors a chance to see top athletes from around the world competing on the same tracks and courses where the medals will be won in 2010. Some of those athletes will likely be medal winners themselves. More than half the events and medals at the 2010 Winter Games will be won at Whistler’s three venues,” Fisher notes.

Visit whistler.com or call 1-800-WHISTLER for everything you need to research and book a trip to Whistler, including accommodations, package deals, activities, transportation, weather, maps and more.

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Media can go to whistler.com/media for Whistler facts, media releases, story starters, and access to images and b-roll.

Whistler is Canada’s premier year-round leisure and meeting destination and is consistently rated as the top ski resort in North America. Located in the Coast Mountains 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Whistler is the Host Mountain Resort of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, hosting more than half of the Olympic events and over 90 per cent of the Paralympic events.

Tourism Whistler is the marketing and sales organization for Whistler, representing 7,000 members and operating the TELUS Whistler Conference Centre, Whistler Golf Club, Whistler Visitor Centres and Whistler.com Central Reservations.