More new Lifts for Whistler Blackcomb

Vail Resorts has announced that it plans to replace Whistler’s Creekside Gondola and Big Red Express chair with new higher-capacity lifts.

The existing six-person Creekside Gondola is to be replaced with a new high-speed, eight-person gondola and the high-speed quad Big Red Express will be replaced with a new high-speed, six-person chair. The projects, planned for the 2022-23 winter season, are part of a $320 million capital plan announced by Vail Resorts this week.

Vail Resorts is planning to install 19 new chairlifts across 14 of its North American resorts. The commitment marks the company’s largest single-year investment into improving the guest experience. Vail claims that a new gondola in Creekside will “significantly improve wait times” and increase out-of-base uphill capacity by 35 percent and the new Red Chair will increase uphill capacity by nearly 30 per cent.

Thursday’s announcement is part of Epic Lift Upgrade, a new initiative that Vail Resorts claims “will significantly improve and enhance the guest experience and make getting on and around its mountains easier, faster and more enjoyable.”

“Our mission at Vail Resorts is to provide an Experience of a Lifetime to anyone who visits our resorts—and delivering on that mission requires constant re-imagination and investment into the guest experience,” said Rob Katz, Vail Resorts chairman and chief executive officer, in a release. “Our teams have been hard at work identifying significant opportunities to improve the guest experience and have produced an initial list of exciting lift upgrades, a restaurant expansion and projects that expand access to incredible terrain for next season, with more to be announced.

“At some of our mountains, this means new high-speed lifts that will double how fast we can move people out of the base areas, and at others, the projects are all about making it easier for people to explore different sections of the mountain,” Katz continued.

“Overall, our goal is for guests to have more time to enjoy the sport they love. Of course, all of these projects for the 2022-23 season are on top of the big improvements we will have ready this upcoming 2021-22 ski and ride season, which we cannot wait to unveil to guests in just a few months.”

Whistler Blackcomb has Canada’s most advanced and extensive lift system to accommodate 30,000 skiers on a busy day. That many skiers doesn’t bode well for inbounds powder skiing however provides great access to slackcountry and beyond!