WHISTLER, B.C. Whistler, the ski resort, has been collecting
kudos worldwide for its enthralling snow-sports experience and
first-class accommodations, but the focal point of Tourism Whistler
representatives in 2003 is to make known the destination’s
Before the snow falls, the Whistler area is a proven lure for
all things active, from kayaking in mountain lakes to hiking trails
high in the summit, from cycling to enjoying the spa life. And with
the opening of an expanded conference center, meeting groups, big
and small, can actually spend productive off-season time in
In keeping with its winter reputation, however, Whistler just
scored some major coups in the December issue of Conde Nast
Traveler magazine, grabbing first and second place in a readers’
poll of the Top 50 Ski Resorts in North America. Westin Resort
& Spa took the top spot; followed by Fairmont Chateau Whistler.
Also in the honors list were Pan Pacific Lodge (eighth), Summit
Lodge (13th) and Delta Whistler Resort (17th).
And, if events unfold in Whistler’s favor and Vancouver wins its
2010 Winter Olympics bid the decision is due in July Whistler would
be the host venue for a number of events, such as alpine skiing,
cross-country skiing, bobsled, luge and all the Paralympic Games,
according to Michele Comeau Thompson, manager of communications for
New this winter season, according to Comeau Thompson, is the
service from Vancouver International Airport to Whistler by Helijet
Airways, a code-share partner of Alaska Airlines. The 28-minute
helicopter flight is offered twice a day.
For active and/or extreme clients looking for something
different, Whistler just launched a high-flying thrill-ride across
Fitzsimmons Creek and the old growth forest between Blackcomb and
Ziptrek Ecotours offers this two-and-a-half-hour adventure to
clients willing to be harnessed to a steel-pulley system and
explore the hidden beauty of Fitzsimmons Creek and the picturesque
forest valley between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, from a
For clients more attuned to watching, rather than experiencing
extreme events, Whistler, for the first time, will be hosting the X
Games Global Championships May 15-18. Events include snowboarding
Whistler’s annual Summer Gravity Festival, also known as the
Mountain Bike Festival, is slated for July 14-20, and will showcase
the world’s best riders in downhill, freeride, cross-country and
Mountain biking is also the focus of a new plan in the works by
the Whistler Cycling Committee. Its goal is to expand and improve
bike trails around the Whistler region and provide environmental
standards on trails in sensitive areas.
Meanwhile, the grand re-opening of the Whistler Conference
Center is scheduled for October. Renovations are costing
approximately CAN$9 million, and include a new entranceway from
Village Square, highlighted by exposed wood beams and a glass
façade; a 40-foot-tall wood-burning fireplace in the Grand Entrance
Hall, which was created out of the upper level of the prefunction
area, and includes increased meeting and reception space; and a new
roof made of reflective, 80 percent recycled material.
Meeting planners can get a virtual tour of the conference center
One of the first meetings to take place in the refurbished
center will be Canada’s West Marketplace, the largest tourism trade
show in Western Canada, which is scheduled for Dec. 2-5.
And Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts will open a 242-suite
property in Whistler in the summer of 2004, at the base of
Blackcomb Mountain, adjacent to the Fairmont.
The property will feature a restaurant, full-service concierge,
spa, health club, outdoor pool, 10,000-square feet of meeting and
banquet space and 1,500-square feet of retail space.
www.tourismwhistler.com or www.mywhistler.com.