According to the press release, most—if not all—of that expansion would occur at Creekside, Whistler's fourth and newest zone, which opened last year giving rider's access to the bike park via the original Creekside base area. Once completed, the plans would come close to doubling the rideable terrain at Whistler, which is already sprawling with four distinct "zones," and nearly 60 trails on 4,946 feet of vert.
It would appear that the move is, at least in part, designed to make the resort less winter dependent in the long run. Other summer plans include a 163,000-square-foot water park, a ropes course and a year-round mountain coaster.
“Whistler Blackcomb Renaissance is the most progressive investment in our history and will leverage our tremendous success building our non-ski business," said Dave Brownlie, president and CEO, in the press release.
More than 30 miles of new trail may soon be accessible from the Creekside gondola. | Photo: Laurence Crossman-Emms
"Renaissance will further diversify our revenue and enhance the activities available for our guests while elevating Whistler Blackcomb’s core skiing, mountain biking and sightseeing experiences and continuing our evolution as one of the industry’s leading four-season mountain resorts. This is a very exciting growth initiative that, we expect, will increase year-round visitation to Whistler, insulate our resort from variable weather conditions, and strengthen Whistler’s position as one of the premier mountain resort destinations in the world.”
The bike park plans are included in Phase 1 which could begin within the year pending approval of the the Canadian Province and the Squamish and Lil’wat First Nations.
Whistler Mountain Bike Park opens for the 2016 season on May 20.
-by Don Stefanovich