Question Whistler Surrounding Mountains?

Chowder11

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Was having a monday arvo procrastination on google maps and having a look at whistler and surrounding areas and I had a thought.

Whistler is such a massive success, and the surrounding area has so much similar terrain that Whistler and Blackcomb has been built on.
It occurred to me that there is no other major ski fields near-by. Is this because there is no need because Whistler is big enough to cater for Vancouver, surrounds and the international visitors??

You see a lot of the local pros like Dana Flahr and crew who back-country out from Squamish or Pemberton, and all their videos show amazing terrain which would be ideal candidates for another big resort.

So is there no demand??? National Park restrictions???

Any thoughts?
 

TropicalPow

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While short on details, another new resort, I am all for that.
Whistler naturally comes at it from a self interest point of view, obviously not welcoming competition.
As mentioned in comments re that article, having a few resorts in one region makes all resorts a more attractive destination for me.
 

Chowder11

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Interesting read. Says the Whistler people are the problem in future development.
I also agree that its in the wrong spot though, needs to be inland further, to close to the ocean, which would mean some pretty awful seasons and super inconsistent snow, much like the small resorts just out of Vancouver and Vancouver Island.

I was personally thinking more towards Pemberton down to the Duffy area.
 

robbo mcs

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A lot of the best terrain with high altitude, reliable snow and glaciers is in the Garibaldi park which has restricted usage. Large areas of this are already accessed by licensed heli operations, and some areas are popular back country areas accessed on foot.

There are plenty of areas outside of the national park that have good terrain and snow, although they often tend to be slightly lower, and therefore potentially wet and heavier snow. Many of these areas are already used for recreational purposes, sleds/snowmobiles, nordic skiing, foot accessed back country, sled-skiing etc. Recreational snowmobiles are pretty popular.
 

sly_karma

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Was a huge resort development planned for Cayoosh Creek, overlooking hwy 99 between Pemberton and Lillooet. First Nations opposition shut it down pretty fast. Would have been a good hour or more drive beyond Whistler on a road that makes the Sea to Sky look like the Nullarbor. Local population negligible, air access poor. Hard to see it getting any traction.

Garibaldi, that will be a success IMHO.

Was just announced that Hemlock had changed hands and new owners announced $1B + expansion plans. In theory it could be huge - local (1 hour drive) population is a million plus, but it's mid elevation and either gets metres of snow or buckets of rain. Unpaved goat track road, undersupplied for electricity, lots to do with infrastructure before any thought of new lifts or terrain.
 
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Chowder11

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Was a huge resort development planned for Cayoosh Creek, overlooking hwy 99 between Pemberton and Lillooet. First Nations opposition shut it down pretty fast. Would have been a good hour or more drive beyond Whistler on a road that makes the Sea to Sky look like the Nullarbor. Local population negligible, air access poor. Hard to see it getting any traction.

Garibaldi, that will be a success IMHO.

Was just announced that Hemlock had changed hands and new owners announced $1B + expansion plans. In theory it could be huge - local (1 hour drive) population is a million plus, but it's mid elevation and either gets metres of snow or buckets of rain. Unpaved goat track road, undersupplied for electricity, lots to do with infrastructure before any thought of new lifts or terrain.
Was just reading on their website about it.
Currently run 4 chairs and the master plan has 23 chairs. Thats a pretty big expansion.
In a good spot for a big resort also. Nice mid point stop over on the drive to Kamloops or Kelowna from Vancouver.
 

sly_karma

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I just think their snow is suspect at Hemlock, elevation too low (1300 m summit) for the current warmer average temps. A pretty chequered recent past.

2004-05 no snow, did not open
2005-06 in receivership, did not open
2006-07 new owners
2013-14 late opening (mid Jan) due to low snow; new owners
2014-15 no snow, did not open
2015-16 season yet to open as of today, 27 cm base, raining in the area

How do you attract $1.5B of investment with facts like that?
 
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Chowder11

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Yeh that doesn't add up.

Is the expansion to surrounding mountains with much higher elevation possibly?
 

gareth_oau

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you can sorta see why whistler might try to oppose it...

405767.jpg


From-Panorama-Ridge-in-May-Garibaldi-Lake-Garibaldi-Provincial-Park-British-Columbia-c.jpg
 
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BlueHue

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I struggle to see any new resort with limited/no terrain in the 2000m range making its mark as destination resort. Whistler's reputation, despite being North America's biggest destination, still suffers in some quarters due to the variable snow quality and occasional rain. How many people will sink their $$ into a ski holiday with he highest probability of rain of any major destination resort. Certainly not me. Whistler good, anything lower, wetter or more coastal too risky IMO.

I say take a La Grave approach and whack a cable car/funitel up a single high peak off the highway, put a half way station around where the alpine begins and have no cut trails ;)
 
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sly_karma

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Clustering works, well proven in many industries. Garibaldi will crank up the destination traffic even more than Whistler already has. There's been dozens of questions posted on here over the years asking, "where else can we ski on our Whistler trip?" Garibaldi will provide the first satisfying answer. The north shore has little but novelty interest for destination visitors, Baker is too far away to count as "near Whistler".
 
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skidiva

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It all relates to money. So many existing resorts don't actually make a profit from the ski lift operations- whistler included. Lots of large successful resorts have not been able to expand as they intended due to lack of funds- aspen included. The last two poor snow years in NH have impacted all resorts. with the threat of global warming as well you would have to be stupid to sink money into a new ski resort when so many are struggling and have had to put lift expansion on hold.
 

sly_karma

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Resorts have had to rethink the business model, real estate sales aren't the revenue driver they used to be. Demographics are not on their side, boomers are selling their ski condos and cabins to fund retirement or snowbird properties in Mexico or the US sun belt.
 

Chowder11

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Resorts have had to rethink the business model, real estate sales aren't the revenue driver they used to be. Demographics are not on their side, boomers are selling their ski condos and cabins to fund retirement or snowbird properties in Mexico or the US sun belt.
They need to make the resorts appealing all year round.
Whistler is so successful due to the amount of summer traffic they also get, MTB's, hikers and just general tourism due to the village.
I guess if your going to build new resorts near large populations, whistler is the model to build off and make it a year round destination. No point having so much infrastructure sitting idle for 6 months a year.
 
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sly_karma

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Agreed! Year round is where it's at if you're going to sell real estate. If the active ski holiday home thing is fading away for lots of boomers, you need to appeal to people who want to live there full time. Lots of professionals can and do work from home, those are the ones the all season resorts are pitching at. Add a golf course and you're really making it happen. Whistler, Sun Peaks, Panorama all in there with the golf/ski appeal. SP is a lot smaller village but they followed Whistler's approach and incorporated to become a municipality, founded a school, added entertainment pitched at locals. They understand that it's worth attracting people to live there full time.
 
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