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Whistler Blackcomb announces major $18 million capital expansion

Whistler Blackcomb announces major $18 million capital expansion for 2013.2014

Lift Expansion Includes New Whistler Mountain Harmony High-Speed
Six-Pack Chairlift And New High-Speed Quad Chairlift In Blackcomb
Mountain’s Crystal Zone

WHISTLER, BC, Jan. 18, 2013 Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc.
announced today that Whistler Blackcomb has unveiled plans for a major
lift expansion. Whistler Mountain’s Harmony high-speed, quad chairlift
will be replaced with a new Doppelmayr high-speed, detachable, six-pack
chairlift capable of transporting six people on each chair. Blackcomb
Mountain will see a lift enhancement with a high-speed quad chairlift
going into a new area in the Crystal Zone, currently accessed by a
fixed-grip triple chair.

“This lift expansion clearly demonstrates our commitment to continuously
enhancing the skiing and riding experience on both mountains,” says
Dave Brownlie, President and Chief Executive Officer of Whistler
Blackcomb Holdings Inc.  “This project will increase lift capacity in
some of the most desired terrain on the mountains by 56% and we expect
it will contribute to the growth of our business.”


The new high-speed quad chairlift in the Crystal Zone will be 1,708
metres (5,604ft) in length, with a vertical rise of 535 metres
(1,755ft). Skier carrying capacity will increase by 65% over the
current lift to 2,400 skiers per hour.  The new quad will deliver
skiers and riders to the same location as the current triple chair next
to the Crystal Hut. However, the aspect of the new lift line is
dramatically different, and will originate 158 metres (518ft) lower
than the old Crystal lift. The bottom elevation will be 1,292 metres
(4,239ft) and the top elevation of the lift will be 1,827 metres


This bottom terminal location along the Blackcomb Glacier Road ski-out
eliminates the need to utilize the Excelerator Chair to access many
Crystal Zone trails including Ridge Runner, Rock ‘N’ Roll, and gladed
trails like Outer Limits. It will also be even quicker to return to the
Glacier Express chair to access Horstman Glacier and Blackcomb Glacier.
The increased length of the chair’s line will give skiers and riders
the opportunity to enjoy the entire Crystal Zone - from undulating
cruisers to gladed zones riddled with natural terrain features and
snow-caked trees straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. The name of this
exciting new quad chairlift will be determined through a competition to
be announced by Whistler Blackcomb later this winter.


The Harmony Six high-speed chairlift will replace one of Whistler
Blackcomb’s most popular lifts and will dramatically improve the uphill
capacity by 50 per cent; going from 2,400 skiers per hour to 3,600. The
Harmony Six will service terrain spanning from the edge of the Symphony
Amphitheatre all the way over to Glacier Bowl, adjacent to the Peak
Express. This area, known as the Harmony Zone, makes up over 485
hectares (1,200 acres) of Whistler Blackcomb’s 3,306 hectares (8,171
acres) of total terrain. With a wide variety of beginner to expert
terrain options, the Harmony Six will ensure skiers and riders are able
to spend more time on the mountain exploring the spectacular,
powder-covered alpine for which Whistler Blackcomb is celebrated.


The Harmony Six has the same alignment as the current Harmony quad,
spanning 1,729 metres (5,672ft) in length, with a vertical rise of 525
metres (1,722ft). The top elevation of the lift is 2,107 metres
(6,912ft); the bottom elevation is 1,582 metres (5,190ft).


Construction on the lifts will begin this spring and will continue
through the summer and fall with an expected opening at the beginning
of the 2013.2014 winter season. For more information, please review the
FY13 Lift Expansion Backgrounder in the Presentations section of the
investor relations website:


This press release contains forward-looking statements or information,
within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws, including,
but not limited to, statements with respect to the timing of the
completion of the project and expected growth of the Corporation’s
business, which may prove to be incorrect.


The forward-looking statements and information contained in this press
release are based on certain factors and assumptions made by management
of the Corporation including, but not limited to: assurances from
suppliers, previous lift installations and there being no unforeseen
obstructions to the construction of the project.


The forward-looking statements and information contained in this press
release are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could
cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated
including, but not limited to, risks relating to unfavourable weather
conditions, availability of capital, supply and installation of
equipment, environmental laws and regulations, the impact of any
occurring natural disasters and economic, business and market
conditions.  A more detailed description of these risks is available in
the Corporation’s annual information form dated December 12, 2012,
which is available on the Corporation’s website and on SEDAR at


Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or
should assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements or
information prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from
those described herein.  Although the Corporation believes that the
expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements and
information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on
forward-looking statements or information because the Corporation can
give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct.


These forward-looking statements and information are made as of the date
of this press release, and the Corporation has no intention and assumes
no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements or
information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required
by applicable Canadian securities laws.


Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. owns a 75% interest in each of Whistler
Mountain Resort Limited Partnership and Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises
Limited Partnership, which, together, carry on the four season mountain
resort business located in the Resort Municipality of Whistler, British
Columbia.  Whistler Blackcomb, the official alpine skiing venue for the
Olympic Winter Games, is situated in the Resort Municipality of
Whistler located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia 125
kilometres (78 miles) from Vancouver, British Columbia. North America’s
premier four-season mountain resort, Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb
Mountain are two side-by-side mountains, connected by the world
record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, which combined offer over 200
marked runs, over 8,000 acres of terrain, 14 alpine bowls, three
glaciers, receive on average over 1,192 centimetres (469 inches) of
snow annually, and offer one of the longest ski seasons in North
America. In the summer, Whistler Blackcomb offers a variety of
activities, including hiking and biking trails, the Whistler Mountain
Bike Park, and sightseeing on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. Whistler
Blackcomb Holdings Inc. is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under
the symbol “WB”.  For more information, visit


SOURCE Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb

CONTACT: Jeremy Roche
Senior Manager, Investor Relations 
Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc.
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)     
Ph: 604-938-7376

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Posted on Jan 18, 2013 - 11:47 PM • Print