Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. (WB-T9.950.151.53%) says it booked net earnings of $15.1-million in period from Nov. 9, 2010 to Sept. 30. 2011.
The ski and mountain resort earned 40 cents per share during that period, when Whistler Blackcomb became a public company.
Total visits returned to pre-2010 Olympic levels by rising 15 per cent in the year ended Sept. 20 to 2.5 million from 2.2 million.
Revenue increased by 20 per cent over the prior year from $179 to $216-million, which represented a return to pre-Olympic Winter Games levels.
Whistler Blackcomb, about 125 kilometres from Vancouver, was the main alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
“We continue to be pleased with our post-Olympic recovery and we ended fiscal year 2011 on a solid financial footing,” said Dave Brownlie, the president and CEO of Whistler Blackcomb.
“From a visitation perspective, we drove record regional skier visits, we saw a recovery in destination skier visits and we had strong year-round visitation” added Brownlie.
People may only conjure up images of gorgeous alpine and world-famous ski hills when they think of Whistler, however there’s a lot more to do in the resort than just hitting the slopes.
Name a winter sport and Whistler likely offers numerous ways you can enjoy it. From snowmobiling to skating and sleigh rides, to ice fishing and snowshoeing – Whistler has it all.
If you happened to have watched the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, then you also know Whistler is home to some of the most amazing cross-country skiing trails and facilities around.
Over in the Callaghan Valley, site of all the 2010 Nordic events, the superb Whistler Olympic Park offers visitors more than 90 kilometres of expertly groomed trails for both classic and skate skiing. There are also a great section of lighted trails for those who prefer to ski under the stars. The Olympic Park also offers 20 kilometres of wilderness snowshoe trails, as well as a selection of both Nordic and snowshoe trails that are dog-friendly. Families will love the new Toboggan Hill right near the Day Lodge, offering great views of the Olympic ski jumps and surrounding mountain range.
Closer to Whistler Village, Lost Lake features more than 32 kilometres of trails that afford spectacular views of both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. As with the Olympic Park, Lost Lake offers cross-country skiing for classic and skate styles, as well as some snowshoe trails, and about four kilometers of lighted trails for night skiing.
So while many people may only consider Whistler the ultimate in alpine skiing, the fact is it’s also very much a Nordic paradise as well.
Mar 24, 2010 Anecdotal evidence suggests Olympic boost for Whistler
Surveys designed to provide more detailed picture of Games’ impact
By Clare Ogilvie Pique Newsmagazine
People are already searching out Whistler websites, phoning booking agents and considering future investment in the resort following the massive media coverage during the Olympic Games.
And pent up demand and great snow mean that bookings for spring break and the Easter break are looking strong.
“When you look at web visits at Games time they spiraled to new heights all the way through the Games,” said Barrett Fisher, president of Tourism Whistler.
“During Games times there were a lot of requests that came through Whistler.com saying, ‘we saw you on television, could you send us more information.’ It showed that there was an interest.
“Post-Games we do believe we will see some pent up demand. We did see that demand in the spring break period and we anticipate the same in the Easter break period.
“We look at the Games as a platform. Then how are we going to use this as a launch pad for looking forward?”
Over the Olympics about 50,000 to 55,000 people were in Whistler each night. For the most part 98 per cent of the available accommodation was booked.
The Paralympic closing ceremony last weekend saw at least 81 per cent of accommodation booked.
It helps that Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains have abundant snow and that parking is once again available.
It isn’t clear whether a direct link can be made between hosting the Olympics and getting more bookings in the months following. But, said Fisher, what is clear is that more people around the world now know about Whistler and that may push them toward choosing it over another resort destination.
“I had lots of conversations with people from all over….” said Fiona Famulak, president of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce.
“They were blown away by the beauty of the place…. they said they would like to return with their family and friends.
“…It would certainly be the hope that the exposure Whistler received over the Games translates into years and years of great summer and winter occupancy rates.”
Both the chamber and tourism agencies are now doing surveys to gauge more accurately the impact of the Games.
During the Olympic and Paralympic Games the chamber also surveyed businesses in several key sectors to look for trends and information.
“We wanted to take the temperature of the businesses that were going to be front-line serving our Olympic guests during February,” said Famulak. “We wanted to understand how business levels were rolling out, what their challenges were, what the positive things were, and so forth.”
It was a weekly survey done four times in February.
“…We were able to look at results as they came in every week and if there needed to be communication going out, or if we needed to share some information with our partners to make some operational changes, we were able to do that,” said Famulak. “It was almost real time.”
Looking back, she said, it is clear that businesses had quite different Olympic experiences depending on where they were located, what they did, and how they adapted.
This was no surprise as former Olympic host cities had been sharing this message for years leading up to 2010, said Famulak.
“But the second lesson is never underestimate the accuracy of the information you receive from your Olympic peers,” she said.
“That would certainly be one of my messages to London (Summer Games 2012) and Sochi (Winter Games 2014) – what we are sharing with you is likely going to be very accurate.”
The surveys found that Olympic guests tended to stay on the main routes initially.
“They would go shopping, but it was very targeted shopping in terms of Olympic merchandise and so on,” said Famulak.
“So they tended not to spread their wings quickly. That came through very clearly in the survey. Whether they were retail or food and beverage those on the Village Stroll experienced an impact on business levels from the very beginning.
“It took the Olympic guest until day four or five to find Main Street. Upper Village is another story again, they didn’t really feel business impact at all.”
Real estate investment analyst Peter Gorski believes that his sector will see a boom in the next several years, though it may start slowly.
“Certainly the prices on the market for second home owners and people in the free market definitely will (go up),” he said.
But, according to a report he has just produced titled The Olympic Effect: Profit from Whistler’s Next Real Estate Boom, the increase in real estate values is not just about the Games. It is a factor of the improved Sea to Sky Highway, the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, the new facilities left behind by the Games, the continued tremendous growth in the population coming to the region, the provincial government’s push to double tourism by 2015 and the fact that Whistler is reaching build-out.
While he wouldn’t speculate about how much Whistler home prices might go up he said: “… I would say it is going to out-perform the Canadian market as a whole and other resort areas.”
The B.C. Government believes the province is already reaping the rewards from its 2010 Olympic and Paralympic business hosting program. It says it now has a dozen partnerships that will create jobs and build a stronger economy.
“Global leaders came here for the 2010 Winter Games, a celebration of excellence watched by more than half the world’s population on TV, the Internet or mobile devices,” said Iain Black, Minister of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development in a statement.
“This has given B.C. unprecedented international exposure that will take our province’s economy to a new level. We are following up on connections made through our business hosting program, which surpassed our highest expectations in showing business visitors the investment advantages inherent in our people, our geography, our industries and our attractive business climate.”
Government is also monitoring at least 27 other pending agreements.
The business hosting program involved about 11,000 participants at more than 100 events such as roundtables, tours, receptions and meetings. Business leaders from across North America, Europe and Asia attended, representing industries including airline, automotive, energy, film and entertainment, forestry, information and communications technology, life sciences, manufacturing, mining, pharmaceuticals, tourism and venture capital.
Vancouver Time Time Laps
The Olympic flame will reach Whistler’s edge at about 4:30 this afternoon, marking the 99th day of it’s tour from Ancient Olympia, Greece. In that time, the symbolic flame has been carried by thousands of torchbears across every province and territory of Canada.
Four olympians will proudly carry the flame into Whistler, with legendary local and Alpine Skiing Olympian Steve Podborski will carrying the flame on a snowmobile.
The flame is expected to reach Whistler village at approx 7pm with a welcome ceremony taking place at skiiers plaza inlcluding performances by the Squamish Lil’wat First Nations.
And Whistler is not slowing down! With over 9m of snow this winter, Whistler Blackcomb are ready to welcome the world.
The first alpine athletes start their training on designated training runs on February 5 and on the Olympic courses on February 10. The first alpine competition is the Men’s Downhill on February 13, the first day of Games competition.
“International Olympic Committee delegates recently skied the course and were very pleased with the results,” says Tim Gayda, Vice President of Sport, VANOC. “From the beginning of the season, VANOC and Whistler Blackcomb crews have worked hard together to prepare the courses to create a very dense base of snow that involved a massive snowmaking effort. Add to that the incredible amount of natural snow that has fallen in Whistler this season, and we’re now ready to deliver an Olympic-class alpine skiing venue that will live up to the reputation that the renowned Dave Murray Downhill course holds the world over. We look forward to debuting the spectacular new woman’s course on Franz’s Run. VANOC has now taken over the Men’s and Women’s courses entirely from Whistler Blackcomb ski operations and we’re in to the home stretch on our final preparations.”
In February 2010, the eyes of the world will be upon Whistler as the globe’s top athletes compete for Olympic gold in Alpine, Nordic, Bobsleigh and Luge events in the resort. But in addition to all the limelight it’s getting from the 2010 Olympic Games, Whistler also benefits from some pretty impressive Olympic Legacies left behind when the Games are long finished. Whistler’s newest resident community, Cheakamus Crossing, is one of those legacies.
Situated across Highway 99 from Function Junction, Cheakamus Crossing is a permanent, mixed-use community that’s adjacent to a network of beautiful walking, hiking and mountain biking trails. Pedestrian-focused, the community is being built with a commitment to sustainability by using innovative design and development practices that, among other things, protects and enhances natural wetlands in the area. The community will also include commercial space for basic services, an athlete hostel, an International Hostel, a High Performance Centre, and community recreation fields. Featuring stunning views of Black Tusk and Whistler peak, the site will house visiting athletes and their support teams during the Games. After the Games, the units will provide Whistler residents with an affordable opportunity to live, work and play in the resort.
It’s official! After much back-and-forth, discussions, negotiations and re-negotiations – Whistler will indeed be the site of nightly medal presentations during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
In February 2009 as a cost-cutting measure, Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic organizers (VANOC) told Whistler that medals would be awarded at event venues instead of at Whistler’s Celebration Plaza – already under construction. But after much lobbying from Games athletes, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and broadcasters, VANOC was convinced to reconsider the medals plan. The revised $12.8 million Whistler Celebration Sites program, including medals presentations at the plaza site, now includes $6.8 million from VANOC, $5 million from the federal government and $1 million from the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW).
Last Thursday marked the official countdown to the 2010 Winter Olympic & Paralympic Games. In true Whistler style the resort celebrated with live music, parties and Canada’s top athletes.
2010 Facts & Figures
Olympic Games: Feb 12 – 28, 2010
- 85 countries competing
- 5,500 athletes and team officials (2,750 in Whistler)
- 86 medal events in 17 days (46 in Whistler)
Paralympic Games: March 12 – 21, 2010
- 45 countries competing
- 1,350 athletes and officials (1,015 in Whistler)
- 64 medal events in 9 days (62 in Whistler)
10,000 accredited media
55,000 workforce staff
3 billion television views worldwide
Three competition venues in Whistler
- Whistler Creek / Alpine Skiing: Downhill, Super G, Giant slalom, Slalom, Combined
- Whistler Sliding Centre: Bobsleigh, Skeleton & Luge
- Whistler Olympic/Paralympic Park: Cross-Country skiing, Nordic combined, Biathlon & Ski Jumping
The First Time…
- in Winter Games history the competition venues have been completed two years before competition dates
- in Winter Games history a community other than the host city has achieved an official designation
- the Closing Ceremony for the Paralympic Games will be held outside of the host city
In the spirit of the Nordic Festival at the Callaghan Valley this weekend, our team decided to head out on Friday to watch some of the World Cup events, then take ourselves for a cross-country ski.
With the sun shining and the snow in great shape, we could not have asked for a better day.
This is what the Whistler lifestyle is all about. Fresh air, sunshine, snow and good friends…