Vail Resorts has been able to stay away from controversy, for the most part, this ski season, but it’s never too late to piss off die-hard skiers. Whistler Blackcomb is in the midst of a powder cycle, which obviously can bring some major crowds. Unfortunately, we’re in the middle of the toning down of operations at most ski resorts, while others are shutting down the lifts entirely.
On Monday, Whistler Blackcomb announced its updated Spring Operations plan. Whistler Mountain is officially closed for the season, partially due to the Fitzsimmons replacement and preparation for mountain biking operations.
Blackcomb’s operations are being reduced, with the Blackcomb Gondola only being open on weekends. Currently, the only way to get to the upper mountain is via the Excalibur Gondola. The Glacier chairlift is closed due to needed maintenance repairs.
A variety of issues were created by this Spring Operations, which began on Monday. Only one gondola now services Blackcomb, which led to massive lift lines.
Why is there one gondola open for so many people. The line is taking up the entire village. pic.twitter.com/5T4PetgNr1
— David Hua (@DHua48) April 17, 2023
Angry customers spoke out on Whistler’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages, accusing Vail of being greedy and not caring about them. Their feelings were summarized best by Instagram user Koche McFly:
“‘Lets close the blackcomb gondola without notice on a pow day!’-Vail.”
I feel like the best move is for Vail to reopen the Blackcomb Gondola for another full week, and then possibly later if it continues to be snowy. Vail Resorts did a better job this year listening to customers about what they need to improve on, but this is clearly a situation where Vail failed. There’s still a lot of resentment towards Vail in the Whistler community, so updating their spring operations could help.
Whistler Blackcomb and Vail Resorts can do the right thing here. We’ll see if they step up to the plate.