Whistler season passes rise
WHISTLER, B.C. – Ski season passes have gone up at Whistler-Blackcomb by 3 percent. The new price for early-bird buyers is $1,329 ($970 US). An Intrawest spokesman defended the cost increase by pointing to on-mountain improvements, including snow-making, as well as labor costs, says Pique newsmagazine (Sept. 5). The pass will provide skiing until next June.
By way of comparison, an unlimited pass at Sun Valley runs $1,825 US. However, in Colorado, where Vail Resorts and Intrawest are slugging it out for the loyalty of Front Range skiers, $319 buys unlimited skiing at Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge and Keystone, plus 10 days at Vail and Beaver Creek. Another $319 provides unlimited skiing at Copper Mountain and Winter Park.
Mountain school size flat
GRANBY, Colo. – Enrollment in the East Grand School District, which draws students from Winter Park to Grand Lake, has dropped nearly three dozen from two years ago. However, this year’s kindergarten class may be the largest in eight years, reports the Sky-Hi News.
Elsewhere in ski country, enrollment in Vail and other schools in the Eagle Valley School Districts is reported to be generally flat, while a very modest increase has occurred in Park City.
Whistler exempted in fire ban
WHISTLER, B.C. – Travel in many backcountry areas of southern British Columbia has been restricted from late August through mid-September, but not around Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Why?
Resort officials point to the labyrinth of roads on the mountains that would make responding to an outbreak much easier. Also, notes the Whistler Question, ski area personnel are around to look for risky behavior, such as people smoking cigarettes.
And on-mountain reservoirs containing water for snowmaking could be tapped to fight fires. Resort officials have also thinned underbrush and standing dead timber between many ski runs, reducing fire potential.