1995: Whistler’s first terrain park developed on Blackcomb mountain

half pipe on blackcomb being built out of dirt

The half pipe on Blackcomb was shaped in the dirt and new machinery was being developed to shape the pipe. In 1995 Blackcomb was voted the #1 Snowboard Dream Destination in the world by Snowboard Canada.

Photo and info source: Whistler Blackcomb

1996: World Ski and Snowboard Festival begins

The Hip Shred Show on Saturday night at WSSF

The World Ski Snowboard Festival as we know it today was born in April, 1996. During its first two years, WSSF underwent various transformations as it strove to fulfil a “bigger vision” but still remain an industry-focused event. Its impact on skier visits and hotel occupancy in Whistler during the 10-day period won endorsements from Whistler’s stakeholders, securing their support.

Photo:Whistler Blackcomb. Info source: WSSF.com

1997: Intrawest merges Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain merge to form Whistler Blackcomb

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In March 1997 Whistler Mountain Ski Corporation (which owned Whistler) and Intrawest Corporation (which owned Blackcomb) merged to create one of the biggest and most exciting mountain resort companies in the world.

Photo and info source: Whistler Blackcomb

1998: Whistler honours Franz Wilhelmsen with a ski run in his name

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Franz Wilhelmsen, known to most people as the father of Whistler, is responsible for transforming a small ski hill into best ski resort in North America. With such an amazing life accomplishment came a plethora of awards and honours inside and outside the Whistler community.  In 1966 he was named Man of the Year by the Greater Vancouver Visitors and Convention Bureau. In 1981 Franz received the Jim Marshall award.  In 1983, Franz was named a Freeman of Whistler. In 1996, Franz was part of the class inducted into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame.  Then in 1998 he was also inducted to the BC Sports Hall of Fame. Then, in 1998, Whistler honoured its father by naming his favourite ski run “Franz’ Run”.

Photo and info source: Whistler Library blog

1999: Official opening of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park

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Backroads Mountain Bike Adventures had been offering guided mountain bike tours on Whistler Mountain since 1985, however that stopped when the Intrawest merger was complete between Whistler and Blackcomb. The summer of 1999 was the launch of the official Whistler Mountain Bike Park, a lift-assisted network of trails for mountain bike enthusiasts.

Photo: Whistler Library blog. Info source: Whistler Question and Whistler Library blog.

2000: Redevelopment of Creekside and a whole new Dusty’s

artists rendering of the new creekside village whistler 2000

Never one to rest on its laurels, exciting new announcements continued to come forth. A whole new village at Whistler Creekside, the original base area, began development in the spring of 2000, including the launch of a new day lodge and the long anticipated re-opening of an all-new Dusty’s Bar. Above is an artists rendering of Intrawest’s original vision.

Photo: Whistler Resort Homes. Info source:Whistler Blackcomb

2001: Whistler Blackcomb hosts FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships

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The FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships was first organized in 1986 and held for the first time in Canada at Whistler Blackcomb in 2001. Currently, the events included in the world championships are Moguls, Dual Moguls, Aerials, Ski cross, Slopestyle and Half-pipe.

Photo: wiki-fis-ski.com Info source: Whistler Blackcomb

2002: Whistler Blackcomb wins BC Ethics in Action award for Environmental Excellence

Black bear and cubPhoto and info source: Whistler Blackcomb

2003: Whistler awarded the 2010 Winter Olympic Games

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Finally, on July 2, 2003 a dream almost fifty years in the making finally came true. Whistler, in partnership with Vancouver, won the bid to host the 2010 Winter Olympics. Once again development in Whistler (and Vancouver, as well as along the Sea-To-Sky Highway which links the two) skyrocketed.

Photo: Pique News Magazine. Info source:Whistler Museum Blog

2004: Flute Bowl added to Whistler Blackcomb’s in-bounds ski area

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In 2004, Whistler Mountain added 1,100 acres of ‘inbounds backcountry’ terrain with the addition of Flute Bowl, bringing the total acreage across both mountains to 8,171 acres.

Photo and info source: Whistler Blackcomb

2005: World Snowboarding Championships held in Whistler

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A monumental event for Whistler Blackcomb and for Canada. This was the first time the event had ever been held outside Europe.

Photo and info source: Whistler Blackcomb

2006: New high-speed quad chair added to Symphony Bowl

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In 2006 a new $9.2 million high-speed quad chairlift was added in Symphony Bowl, creating the Symphony Amphitheatre and bringing lift access closer to the top of Flute Bowl.

Photo source: Pique News Magazine. Info source: Whistler Blackcomb

2007: Whistler Blackcomb earns “Top Ski Resort in North America” for the eleventh year in a row

Skiing fresh powder in the Whistler alpine

Photo and info source: Whistler Blackcomb

2008: Peak 2 Peak gondola was built and smashed world records

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Spanning the distance between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, the world record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola opened in December 2008 and with it, launched a breathtaking, 4.4-kilometre journey to infinite possibilities. Redefining the Whistler winter and summer experience at Whistler Blackcomb by creating limitless new ways to get up-close-and-personal with the mountains, the engineering marvel broke three world records:

  • Longest unsupported span of 3.024 kilometres
  • Highest lift of its kind at 436 metres above the valley floor
  • Completes the longest continuous lift system on the globe

Photo and info source: Whistler Blackcomb

2009: The Fitzsimmons Creek Renewable Energy Project was launched to power Whistler Blackcomb operations

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In partnership with Innergex Renewable Energy and Ledcor Power Group, Whistler Blackcomb built the Run-of-River hydroelectric project on the Fitzimmons Creek that can be seen from the Peak 2 Peak gondola. The hydro project can produce up to 33 gigawatt hours of hydro electricity per year, enough to power the ski resort’s year-round operations including 38 lifts, 18, restaurants, and 270 snowguns; or is the equivalent of powering more than 3000 homes.

Photo: Ledcor. Info source: Whistler Blackcomb

2010: Whistler co-hosts the 2010 Winter Olympic Games with Vancouver

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On February 12, 2010, the official opening ceremonies of XXI Olympic Winter Games took place in Vancouver.  From then until March 19, 2010, Whistler welcomed the world and celebrated the reality of it’s Olympic Dream, with the Paralympic Games closing ceremonies taking place in Whistler Village.

Photo and info: Whistler Museum blog

2011: Whistler Blackcomb named “The Best” North American ski resort by Freeskier Magazine

March powder skiing!Photo and info: Whistler Blackcomb

2012: Top of the World alpine trail opens at the Whistler Mountain Bike Park

2013: New Harmony 6 Express chair lift and Crystal Ridge Express quad chairlift open

2014: Whistler local, Marielle Thompson, wins a Gold Medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi

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Home grown Whistler athlete, Marielle Thompson, wins Gold in the Women’s Skier Cross. To date, only Whistler raised skiers have won the two Women’s Skier Cross Olympic Gold Medals. A streak we hope that will continue.

Photo: Vancouver Sun. Info source: Whistler Blackcomb

2015: Newly renovated Rendezvous Lodge opens to the public

Rendervous whister new 2015

The Rendezvous Lodge has undergone a huge renovation this summer and will open its doors with an increased capacity and improved functionality for the 2015/2016 season in Whistler. The building has a brand new look to complement the new and fresh customizable menu options including Japanese ramen bowls, a Thai inspired wok station, and Mexican taqueria with made to order burritos, tacos and salads. The grill will serving up naturally raised, hormone and antibiotic-free chicken and beef burgers, Ocean Wise salmon sandwiches, as well as a plant-based vegan options.

Photo and info source: Whistler Blackcomb