December 22, 2022 – Update
The wait is finally over! Whistler Blackcomb’s upgraded 10-person Creekside Gondola (Facing North: Sq̓útsa ti Tsaw̓ewéca “by the creek” – Lil̓wat7úl Ucwalmícwts; Facing South: Ch’it ta Swá7elt “beside the creek” – Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim) has passed final safety checks and is cleared to start spinning for the public tomorrow – just in time for the holidays! To celebrate, we’ll be hosting a grand opening alongside cultural ambassadors from @slcc, the Doppelmayr construction team, and community representatives, at 8:15 am tomorrow morning at the Creekside base area.
We hope to see you there!
P.S. – We know many of you loved our complimentary Creekside bus shuttle service. Now that construction is complete and uploading can take place, the service will sadly come to an end. To all our drivers who came from across the province to help out over the last few weeks, we want to share our gratitude and wish you a safe journey home! Shout out to all the WB employees who also stepped up to the plate and assisted with the shuttle service on top of their regular duties – you’re all incredible!
December 15, 2022 – Update
It’s done! Our newly upgraded Red Chair — Kwemkwim K’aýk (Squamish language) and Tseqwtsíqwa Q̓ilq̓ (Líl̓wat language) — has passed its final safety checks and is cleared to open! Even better news? It will officially start spinning for guests tomorrow morning! Join us alongside cultural ambassadors from @slcc as we officially open this brand new, high-speed 6 pack at 11am. See you there!
December 6, 2022 – Update
We’ve got another update on construction efforts for the lift upgrades taking place on Whistler Mountain:
• The initial stage of testing for Big Red took place over the weekend when the lift was energized for turning for the first time. From here, ongoing work is taking place to check every switch, button and wire. We’re nearing the finish line and expect to share an opening date very soon.
• On Creekside, major progress was made over the weekend as all carriers were installed. Next, electrical work wiring the towers and stations will continue throughout the week.
Huge shoutout to our hardworking teams for moving this project along in a timely and safe manner. We can’t wait for guests to hop on these brand new lifts soon!
November 28 – Update
We’re excited to report that the rope splicing for Creekside Gondola was completed at the end of last week…so excited, in fact, that we had to make a little video about it! As for this week’s construction update, work on Creekside Gondola includes preparing and stringing out the communications line on the towers, aligning motors to each other, and performing key electrical adjustments to the gondola’s terminals.
Both Big Red and Creekside will also receive tower adjustment checks this week. And – great news here – we’re happy to share that all the chairs have been installed on Red. Lots of good progress on both projects, with more to come soon.
November 22 – Update
We want to share some important info to know before you join us on Opening Day, particularly related to Creekside with the delay of the Gondola’s opening there. We will have free + frequent shuttle service operating daily between Creekside and Whistler Village; importantly, hours of operation have shifted based on your feedback. This service will now run between 7am-5pm (with higher capacity during weekends and powder days), and our lifts will begin uploading at least 15 minutes early (weather and lighting permitting) with priority access for groups arriving from Creekside.
We understand many guests visiting from other areas of the Lower Mainland use our Creekside lots to park and upload. These, and Lots 6-8, will remain open + free. Electronic road signs and the Whistler Mountain Ops Twitter channel will provide info on parking. If you’re able, please consider carpooling.
For more details, please see our pre-opening day Know-Before-You-Go blog post
These lift upgrades have been a massive undertaking and we want to express immense gratitude to our team who has worked so incredibly hard, and continues to focus on finishing Creekside Gondola as quickly, and safely, as possible. We also remain committed to weekly+ updates on construction progress here on our social channels. We’re nearing the finish line and ask that you please bear with us as we complete the necessary final installation steps and safety checks. Can’t wait to see you on the slopes this Thursday!
November 21 – Update
Since the haul rope for Creekside Gondola arrived last Friday, our team has continued to make progress. The rope has been strung along the lift towers – it’s now all the way around the top and bottom terminal stations and is ready for splicing, which is scheduled to start tomorrow. Still a lot of work to do with electrical and mechanical commissioning, and we are doing everything in our power to finish the Creekside Gondola by the Christmas holiday. This isn’t a guarantee – but we’re committed to weekly updates so you’ll know how things are going along the way. Our top priority is safety, and we won’t sacrifice it for speed.
And don’t worry – we haven’t forgotten about Big Red. Over the weekend, crews were busy attaching the new 6-person chairs, completing 75 of 169, with the rest set to be hung early this week. We hope to share our projected opening date for this chair soon.
November 18, 2022 – Update
It’s here!! The haul rope for Creekside Gondola has finally arrived on site. We are excited to move into the final phase of this project and will share more about next steps and tentative completion timeline soon.
November 17, 2022 – Update
We’ve got another haul rope update. It’s being loaded onto the truck for transport to Whistler as we speak. Based on this, we expect the rope to be on-site tomorrow morning. More to come soon!
November 4, 2022
Whistler Community –
I want to provide an update on the ongoing lift upgrade projects that have been underway at Whistler Blackcomb since the start of the summer. Doppelmayr, the lift manufacturer for the new Big Red lift and the Creekside Gondola, has informed us that they are experiencing supply chain and shipping issues which has delayed delivery of critical parts, impacting the completion timing of both projects. Unfortunately, this means the lifts will not open in time for the season kick-off. When we launched the project with Doppelmayr in November 2021, the lifts were set to be fully completed and commissioned by November 24, 2022. At this time, we anticipate opening Big Red in early December and will provide an update on the opening timeline for Creekside Gondola once the delayed parts arrive.
The Doppelmayr Canada team has shared their disappointment: “We would like to apologize to all who plan to visit Whistler Blackcomb and the impact they may experience as the result of the delayed opening of both Big Red and the Creekside Gondola,” said Luc Guy, CEO – Doppelmayr Canada. “We experienced significant global supply chain and shipping challenges, and did not anticipate delays to this degree. We understand the importance of these projects, and how this delay will impact uphill access and the overall guest experience out of Creekside. We are doing everything we can in partnership with the Whistler Blackcomb team to complete the gondola as safely and quickly as possible. We will move with urgency and align to all safety protocols once the haul rope arrives, and we are confident that the new Creekside Gondola will truly provide an improved experience for visitors to these beautiful mountains.”
We appreciate Doppelmayr’s work to address this and their partnership to complete these two important projects. Our Whistler Blackcomb team has worked incredibly hard, with heart, focus, and tenacity and I’m really proud of how we have come together and kept things moving in a productive, positive way.
The towers and assemblies are in, earth work is done, and we are nearing completion of the plaza areas. Our team has also been supporting the Doppelmayr installation team due to their labour shortage and have assisted in improving timelines. We are also bringing in lift mechanic team members from our Australian resorts, who recently finished their winter season, to help accelerate the project and further supplement Doppelmayr’s labour needs.
We will share progress updates on our social channels as things move forward – in the meantime, here is what you need to know:
- The entire Whistler Blackcomb team is committed to ensuring a great start to the 2022/23 ski + ride season. The team is working through our opening plan and are designing an operating footprint that will deliver the most skiable terrain as possible while limiting the challenges faced by our guests. As is the case every year, our season-opening package is conditions-dependent; we will take every opportunity for snowmaking to deliver terrain on both mountains. We will also accelerate ramp-up on Blackcomb, expanding its footprint as safely and quickly as possible.
- Whistler Blackcomb will provide free and frequent shuttles to transport guests who choose to park and/or are staying at Creekside to and from Whistler Village, between 8am-5pm, until construction is completed. The Base II lots (6-8) on Blackcomb will be open and remain free; Whistler Village day lots (1-5) will also be open. There will additionally be electronic highway signage to inform those arriving by car from the lower mainland with the most up-to-date options for parking.
- We will provide expedited lift access for guests arriving from Creekside at both the Village and Blackcomb Gondolas, and we will open our lifts at both the Whistler and Blackcomb base areas 15 minutes early (at 8:15am, conditions permitting), until construction is completed.
We appreciate Doppelmayr’s commitment to this project and their partnership. We are disappointed that these projects are delayed and I want to reiterate my gratitude for the incredible Whistler Blackcomb team and all they have done – and continue to do – in service of these projects and the guest experience. We are focused on what we can control and remain resolute on finishing these projects as quickly as possible, while still providing a great start to the season for everyone who joins us.
COO, Whistler Blackcomb