Not a week goes by without an announcement that a Western ski area is closing early; this week it looks like Blackcomb Mountain is this winter's latest casualty. Whistler Blackcomb announced that it will close the Blackcomb side April 19, although it will leave Whistler Mountain open until May 18. So why the early closure? A mild winter has left a meager snowpack and operations manager Doug MacFarlane told Pique Magazine that the ski area thinks that the north-facing Whistler peak will hold up better than its neighbor.
The decision to close Blackcomb will also help the ski resort start construction on the planned $5.4 million renovation of the Rendezvous Lodge. The upgrades will add 8.5 percent seating capacity and new food choices including a wok station, a Mexican counter, and a burger bar.
Lifts that will remain open on Whistler for the remainder of the ski season include the Whistler Village Gondola, Emerald Express, Big Red Express, Peak Express and the T-Bars. Skiers can also expect a new terrain park in Glacier Bowl, accessible from the Peak Express and T-Bars.
The Peak 2 Peak Gondola will stay open until April 19.
So far this year, Whistler Blackcomb has only seen 470 centimeters of snow, well below last year's historically low snow year that had seen 547 centimeters by this time. On average, Whistler usually receives about 1,160 centimeters each year.
Update: Whistler Blackcomb has actually actually received 599 cm to date, versus an average 1020 cm by the end of March each year.
· Blackcomb Mountain will close a month early [Pique]
· The Whistler Real Estate Market is Finally Booming [Curbed Ski]
· Mapping the 18 Top On-Mountain Dining Spots [Curbed Ski]
· Climb Whistler's Via Ferrata For High Adventure Thrills [Curbed Ski]