Whether you’ve never set foot on a mountain or do so everyday, stories of challenges facing the ski industry are unavoidable. Some arrive packaged with the broader issue of climate change: Less predictable weather patterns are impacting the temperatures and precipitation required for reliable snow surfaces in certain areas. Some come wrapped around the drama and seeming desperation related to these vicissitudes: ski areas shuttered for entire seasons; European resorts deploying insulating blankets to preserve their glaciers. Still, others are simply part of a changing recreational landscape: fewer people taking up snowsports for a myriad of leisure-trend reasons.
For those in snow business, these are the harsh realities. But for the folks at Whistler Blackcomb (WB), a question posed long ago—Do we want to thrive in this environment or merely survive?—has an obvious answer. Choosing proactive over reactive, WB set out to thrive, something it clearly achieved in leading the way for other resorts.