Global mountain resort operator Vail Resorts is buying Whistler Blackcomb for $1.1 billion, taking over 100 percent of operations for the 2016-17 season.
“This relationship will bring greater resources to support our current operations and our ambitious growth plans, including the Renaissance project, the most exciting and transformative investment in Whistler Blackcomb’s history,” said Dave Brownlie, Whistler Blackcomb’s CEO who will remain in his position throughout this change in ownership.
Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz also showed his support in the press release, explaining that the company plans to preserve Whistler Blackomb’s identity as well as possible.
“Whistler Blackcomb is one of the most iconic mountain resorts in the world with an incredible history, passionate employees and a strong community,” said Katz. “With our combined experience and expertise, together we will build upon the guest experience at Whistler Blackcomb while preserving the unique brand and character of the resort as an iconic Canadian destination for guests around the world. We are delighted to add such a renowned resort to Vail Resorts and look forward to expanding our relationships in the Sea-to-Sky community, British Columbia and Canada.”
Katz additionally sent a message to Vail Resorts employees about the acquisition, conveying his excitement while acknowledging the challenges that may lie ahead, as there is much reviewing to be done in order to make this deal go smoothly.
“I can appreciate that there are many unknowns as we kick off this review process to welcome Whistler Blackcomb to the Vail Resorts family and we will continue to communicate about the process and updates in the months to come,” he said.
Another aspect of the transaction Brownlie recognized is the wellbeing of First Nation communities near Whistler Blackcomb.
“We will also continue our discussions with the Squamish and Lil’wat First Nations, on whose traditional lands we operate, regarding a business partnership that will benefit our communities, our province and our company for decades to come,” he said.
Looking ahead, Whistler Blackcomb’s season pass system will remain unchanged for 2016-17. The resort will offer its regular Whistler Blackbomb-only passes, and stay on the Mountain Collective Pass, as well. For 2017-18, however, the resort will be exclusively included on the Epic Pass alongside Vail Resorts’ 13 other ski resorts around the globe.
Click here to read the full press release from Vail Resorts.