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Whistler News

Home > - Last Updated 4th October 2009

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October 2009

New helmet use guidelines receive industry support from the National Ski Areas Association and Canada West Ski Areas Association

Vancouver, BC, October 1, 2009 – Intrawest today announced that, beginning with the 2009-2010 winter season, the Company will increase awareness of the importance of helmet use at all of its wholly-owned ski resorts in North America. Intrawest will recommend that all skiers and snowboarders visiting its resorts wear helmets and there will be mandatory helmet requirements for all children and youth participants in Ski and Snowboard School Programs as well as all students participating in freestyle terrain park programs, regardless of their age. The new helmet use guidelines underscore Intrawest’s commitment to guest safety and have the support of the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) and Canada West Ski Areas Association (CWSAA).

A helmet will be included with all children/youth ski and snowboard rental packages from all of Intrawest’s equipment rental outlets. The new guidelines will be supported with enhanced employee education sessions and common language highlighting the importance of helmet use will appear on resort websites and in all trail maps. Going forward, Intrawest will place an increased focus on using website images and advertising visuals that feature skiers and snowboarders wearing helmets and Intrawest will introduce new graphic standards that require all of its ski resorts to feature helmets predominantly.

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September 2009

Annual Magazine Rankings Are Out and Whistler Blackcomb Tops Lists Again - 13 Years and Counting

Resort Takes No. 1 in SKIING for 13th year, No. 1 in FREESKIER and No. 2 in Ski

WHISTLER, BC, September 18, 2009 – For the 13th year in a row, readers at one of North America’s premier ski magazines, SKIING, have ranked Whistler Blackcomb their choice for No. 1 resort and the resort they want to ski more than anywhere else. FREESKIER Magazine has also ranked Whistler Blackcomb No. 1, and in SKI Magazine, the resort has moved up one spot to the No. 2 position.

The annual magazine rankings rate resorts on a variety of set criteria, and Whistler Blackcomb consistently scores high in what the results cite as the resort’s greatest attributes. Terrain quality and variety always top the charts, referring to Whistler Blackcomb’s 8,171 acres of glaciers, alpine bowls, steeps and cliffs, plenty of tree skiing, and long, wide-open runs snaking down a vertical mile on both mountains.

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Updated - Summer 2009

2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games
Frequently Asked Questions


Can I travel to Whistler for a holiday during the 2009/ 2010 season?

Definitely! Except for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (February 12-28, 2010 and March 12-21, 2010 respectively) the majority of the 2009/ 2010 season will be business as usual. Many will be interested in visiting during Games-time to enjoy the extraordinary events, excitement and vibrancy of the Village. For those seeking an experience that reflects a more typical Whistler winter season, a visit to the Resort outside of the 17-day period of the Olympic Winter Games may be preferable.

Remember that throughout the Games period, more than 90% of Whistler Blackcomb will remain open for skiing and snowboarding.


In the months leading up to the 2010 Winter Games, will I be able to ski/ snowboard in Whistler?

Of course. Both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains will be in operation before, during, and after the Games. Whistler Mountain offers more than 100 runs, and only four of these will be closed during the 2010 Winter Games (Dave Murray Downhill, Raven, Franz's Run, and Wildcard will be closed) In addition, Blackcomb Mountain will be in full operation, also offering more than 100 runs.

Will there be accommodations available during the 2009/ 2010 season in Whistler?

Yes! With a capacity of more than 10,000 bedrooms in the Resort, Whistler continues to offer visitors an exceptional variety of accommodation options – ranging from branded and boutique hotels to condos, chalets and B&Bs.

Will there be accommodations available in Whistler during the 2010 Winter Games period?

Yes! During Games time there will be a significant number of guests, as part of the Olympic Family (which includes the International Olympic Committee, International Sporting Federations, National Olympic Committees, media and sponsors) that will be staying in the Resort. While rooms have been set aside for these guests, the capacity of the Resort allows for many spectators and other guests to stay in Whistler.

If so, when will I be able to book?

As with any other winter season, Whistler properties began confirming rates and inventory approximately one year in advance, and that will continue into summer and Autumn/Fall 2009. Guests can now secure accommodations.

In the months leading up to February 2010, will I be able to get to Whistler?

Absolutely. The Sea to Sky Highway is open and improvements are scheduled to be completed in fall 2009. Travellers will not experience much inconvenience due to construction other than occasional delays and pre-scheduled closures (call 1 877 4 SAFE 99 for 24/7 information about delays and closures). The majority of the improvement work is complete, and the highway is safer and easier to drive than ever. The improvement project is softening curves, adding 80 km of padding lanes, installing highly reflective pavement markings, additional median barriers, better pullouts and viewpoints, and enhanced monitoring by electronic weather stations to improve maintenance response during winter weather.

How will I access Whistler during the 2010 Winter Games?

Public parking will not be available in Whistler during the Games, so the best way to get to Whistler will be by bus services offered by private carriers. Travel by vehicle will be possible for visitors with accommodations that include parking. Additional travel time will be required at Games time, no matter what the mode of transportation. Everyone is encouraged to “know before you go” by seeking out travel updates before travelling. At Games time, up-to-date transportation information will be provided through a transportation management centre.

Ticket holders to events at Whistler venues will be shuttled from various Vancouver and Whistler locations. Once in Whistler, public transportation will be the most convenient and preferred mode of transportation. There will be expanded bus routes in Whistler around the clock, seven days a week for the month of February 2010.

In March 2009, the first phase of the Transportation Plan was released by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) outlining specifics ranging from travel along the Sea to Sky Highway and traffic management to parking, bus operations and loading zones. More details will be released in the second phase of the plan in summer 2009, and in the final phase in Autumn/fall 2009.

Won’t Whistler be overcrowded during the 2010 Winter Games?

Whistler was designed to host the world 365 days a year – and for many years it has been welcoming more than two million annual visitors to its community. On any given day, the Resort can accommodate more than 30,000 overnight visitors, not to mention thousands of additional day visitors. The pedestrian-only Village serves to ensure guests have convenient access to the entire Resort without the hassle of traffic. Plus, Whistler boasts more than 90 restaurants, bars and lounges and more than 200 retail shops. The town may have only 9,000 permanent residents but its amenities and capacity rival that of many urban centres.

Will there be on-going major construction in Whistler during the lead-up to the 2010 Winter Games?

No! There is no major construction scheduled in the Village during the lead-up to the Games. As a Resort municipality, all major development that might typically be required of a Games host in preparation for welcoming international visitors is ready and waiting here in Whistler. In recent years, Whistler has grown through a planned expansion of new hotels, restaurants and shops; however the Resort development plan does not call for any additional major additions to its capacity.

By winter of 2008, construction was finalized for each of the competition venues in Whistler – marking the first time in history that all mountain venues were completed two years prior to the Games.

Other than the Olympic and Paralympic events, what will be taking place in Whistler during the 2010 Winter Games period?

In addition to the competition events, there will be many celebration events, shows, and activities including the Olympic Arts Festival and Paralympic Arts Festival which will run throughout each of the Games. These festivals will celebrate B.C., Canadian and international arts and culture featuring First Nations, classical and contemporary music, theatre, dance, film, literary, visual arts, street entertainment and more.

Will there be anything to do that’s free?

Yes! Outside of the ticketed events, there will be six Celebration Sites set up throughout Whistler. These will include big screens showing the day’s events and nightly medal ceremonies at Celebration Plaza, as well as free daily and nightly entertainment including bands, performing artists, and theatre.

Are there venue tours available before or after the 2010 Winter Games?

Yes! Venue tours at both the Whistler Olympic Park and the Whistler Sliding Centre will be available throughout summer 2009.

Visitors are reminded that there is open access to Whistler Creekside – the alpine venue; guests can test their skills on the Dave Murray Downhill which will be the site of the alpine skiing events.

After the 2010 Winter Games, the Whistler Legacies Society (WLS) will take over responsibility of managing and operating the Whistler Olympic Park and the Whistler Sliding Centre. The WLS is investigating the possible implementation of a visitor and tour programming at both venues.

Are tickets available for the events in Whistler? How can they be purchased?

Many of the 1.6 million tickets for the 2010 Winter Games were purchased during the Phase 1 of tickets sales in late 2008, but more will be available for online purchase in Phase 2, beginning June 6, 2009. During that timeand throughout future phases of the ticket-buying process, all Canadian residents can create a secure online account at vancouver2010.com where ticket purchases are processed in real time on a first-come, first-served basis. Residents who participated in Phase 1 can sign in using their existing account to purchase tickets.

Also during Phase 2, Canadian residents can call 1.800.TICKETS (1.800.842.5387) and speak to an agent who will be happy to process ticket purchases in real time on a first-come, first-served basis.

250,000 tickets for the 10 days of the Paralympic Winter Games go on sale May 6, 2009 at vancouver2010.com.

I am not a Canadian resident. How do I purchase tickets?

Non-Canadian residents must purchase tickets through the official ticket agent for their National Olympic Committee. For example, U.S. residents (including Canadian citizens living in the US) must purchase tickets to the 2010 Winter Games through CoSport, a sister company of Jet Set Sports, the authorized ticket sales agent of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC). For a list of National Olympic Committees and Official Ticket Agents who have chosen to participate in the Vancouver 2010 ticket program, go to vancouver2010.com.

Is there going to be book-by incentives for the 2009/ 2010 season?

Yes. Working with our hotel members, Tourism Whistler has created the early booking strategy for winter 2009/ 2010. Rates and value-adds are better than ever offered.

For more information about the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games visit www.vancouver2010.com

2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES
Quick Facts

The Dates:

Olympic Winter Games: February 12 to 28, 2010 Paralympic Winter Games: March 12 to 21, 2010

Whistler Olympic and Paralympic Events:
Alpine Skiing: Downhill, Super G, Giant slalom, Slalom, Combined

Nordic:
Biathlon, Cross-country skiing, Nordic combined, Ski jumping

Sliding:
Bobsleigh, Luge, Skeleton

Paralympic events:
Alpine skiing, Biathlon and Cross-country skiing

A collection of ‘firsts’ for Whistler:

1st time in Winter Games history where there will be two separate nightly medal ceremonies (Vancouver and Whistler)

1st time in Winter Games history where the mountain competition venues have been completed two years before the competition dates

1st time in Winter Games history where a community other than the host city has achieved an official designation: Whistler has been designated “Host Mountain Resort” for the 2010 Winter Games

1st time in Winter Games history in which the Closing Ceremony for the Paralympic Games will be held outside of the host city; Whistler will host the closing Ceremony for the Paralympic Winter Games

Whistler Competition Venues:
The Whistler Sliding Centre
(Blackcomb Mountain)

Olympic:
Bobsleigh, Luge, Skeleton
Whistler Creekside
(Whistler Mountain)

Olympic and Paralympic:
Downhill, Super G, Giant slalom, Slalom, Combined
Whistler Olympic Park
(Callaghan Valley)

Olympic:
Biathlon, Cross-country Skiing, Nordic Combined, Ski Jumping
Paralympic: Biathlon and Cross-country Skiing

Games by the Numbers:

86 medals in 17 days of Olympic Games events (57 medals in Whistler)

64 medals in 9 days of Paralympic Games events (62 medals in Whistler)

5,500* Olympic Games athletes and officials (2,750 athletes in Whistler)

1,350* Paralympic Games athletes and officials (1,015 athletes in Whistler)

25,000* volunteers

85* countries participating in Olympic Games

45* countries participating in Paralympic Games

10,000* media representatives

55,000* workforce staff

350,000* visitors

3* billion television viewers worldwide
* These are projected figures