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Press release from CNW Group

Whistler Blackcomb Gears Up For The Much Anticipated 2011.2012 Winter Season

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Whistler Blackcomb Gears Up For The Much Anticipated 2011.2012 Winter Season17:01 EDT Tuesday, October 04, 2011Highlights Include: New Mobile App, Improved Snow School Programs, and New Social Media InitiativesWHISTLER, BC, Oct. 4, 2011 /CNW/ - Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. announced today the highlights for the upcoming 2011.2012 Whistler Blackcomb ski season. With snow from last winter still remaining in the alpine and a fresh dusting today, skiers and snowboarders around the world are anxiously awaiting the start to the 2011.2012 ski season at Whistler Blackcomb which officially begins on November 24, 2011."With predictions suggesting another great season of snow, and some exciting new developments on the mountains, we're looking forward to the winter ahead," says Dave Brownlie, Whistler Blackcomb's President and Chief Operating Officer. "This season Whistler Blackcomb will continue to focus on delivering an incredible guest experience including: the new Whistler Blackcomb Live mobile app, continued enhancements to our grooming fleet, and a revitalization of our Snow School Programs."Top Six Highlights for the 2011.2012 Winter Season     1.The Whistler Blackcomb Live,Powered by TELUS Mobile AppThis season Whistler Blackcomb guests will be able to revolutionize their mountain experience by downloading the Whistler Blackcomb Live, Powered by TELUS app to their smart phones. The app allows skiers and riders to track their runs using GPS, view trail maps, track the total vertical and distance they have travelled and clock their maximum speed. The app allows users to share their speed and vertical as well as take and share photos with friends via Twitter and Facebook. The Whistler Blackcomb Live, Powered by TELUS app is a great resource for mountain information, special offers, events and features of the resort. The Whistler Blackcomb app was developed by Resort Technology Partners (RTP) and is the first of its kind on the market. A Lite version of the app with no GPS tracking capabilities will also be available for download on any mobile device this season.            2.The Max 4 Program The new Max 4 Program at the Whistler Blackcomb Snow School means there will never be more than four people in any daily adult Snow School group lesson. The change will ensure all guests, whether skiing or snowboarding for the first time or a seasoned expert, will receive quality one on one time with their instructors. Guests will be divided into groups that better tailor to their abilities which will increase their confidence and help them learn faster. Whistler Blackcomb has also reduced the class size for all Whistler Kids Snow School programs and as such, beginning this winter, there will never be more than six children to one instructor.            3.GroomingWhistler Blackcomb grooms 1,200 to 1,500 acres of terrain each night over our lengthy season, which is more than any other resort in North America. To help perfect the acres of groomed terrain, Whistler Blackcomb has invested in new grooming equipment for the upcoming winter season. The new equipment includes three new winch cats, three regular groomers, one park cat and one new summer mower. The new equipment will be added to Whistler Blackcomb's already impressive grooming fleet which includes the state of the art 22-foot Global Pipe Cutter. The new grooming equipment, coupled with Whistler Blackcomb's state of the art snowmaking system, a legacy from the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, will help get an early start to the season which means guests can get an even better quality ski experience sooner.            4.Terrain Parks and Training FacilitiesA number of new features will be added to all five of the terrain parks at Whistler Blackcomb this winter. In partnership with Arena Snowparks for rail fleet production, Whistler Blackcomb plans to perform a major overhaul of all the jib features and will build new entrances to help give the terrain parks a new look and ease of access, courtesy of Nintendo.             With Ski Half Pipe announced as a new event at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, as well as skier and snowboard cross introduced at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Whistler Blackcomb will continue to serve as an elite athlete training ground by focusing on a renewed Snow Cross Track and the 22-foot Olympic Size Half Pipe on Blackcomb Mountain. Whistler Blackcomb will also build out a 14-foot half pipe on Blackcomb allowing guests to progress into the 22-foot feature.             A new Dave Murray National Training Centre is being constructed in the Ptarmigan area on Whistler Mountain as part of the 2010 Olympic Legacy. This area will operate under the direction of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club and will serve as a training ground for guests and future Olympians.            5.Social MediaWhistler Blackcomb's robust social media program takes it to the next level this season, with a presence on almost every major network available online. Guests can follow Whistler Blackcomb on Twitter (@WhistlerBlckcmb), become a fan on Facebook (www.facebook.com/whistlerblackcomb) and check into any of the 60 plus Whistler Blackcomb venues on Foursquare.             For the latest Whistler Blackcomb photos and videos, guests can check out the Whistler Blackcomb profiles on Flickr, YouTube and Vimeo. Or for a one stop shop, guests can visit The Movement, Whistler Blackcomb's community page packed with all of the latest ski and snowboard industry news, information about Whistler, photos and videos. Visit The Movement at www.whistlerblackcomb.com/movement             6.Environmental InitiativesWhistler Blackcomb continues to work towards its goal of one day achieving a zero operating footprint. Key areas of focus include: energy conservation, waste reduction as well as staff and guest involvement. Last season Whistler Blackcomb participated in three new energy conservation projects representing over 1.3 kilowatt hours (kWh) in electrical savings including: a behavioral program in partnership with BC Hydro to reduce energy use in all on-mountain buildings; a continuous optimization program at the Roundhouse Lodge to save an estimated seven per cent in energy; and an efficient lighting project in Whistler Blackcomb's staff housing. The Fitzsimmons Creek Renewable Energy Project which was launched in 2009 also continues to be an incredible asset. The micro hydro project was built in partnership with Innergex Inc. and Ledcor Power Inc. and produces the equivalent of Whistler Blackcomb's annual energy demand.ABOUT WHISTLER BLACKCOMBWhistler Blackcomb, the official alpine skiing venue for the Olympic Winter Games, is situated in the Resort Municipality of Whistler located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia 125 kilometres (78 miles) from Vancouver, British Columbia. North America's premier four-season mountain resort, Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain are two side-by-side mountains, connected by the world record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, which combined offers over 200 marked runs, over 8,000 acres of terrain, 14 alpine bowls and three glaciers. Whistler Blackcomb receives on average over 1,090 centimetres (430 inches) of snow annually and offers one of the longest ski seasons in North America. In the summer, Whistler Blackcomb offers a variety of activities, including hiking and biking trails, the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, and sightseeing on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "WB". For more information visit www.whistlerblackcomb.com CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTSThis press release may contain forward-looking statements or information, within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws, including, but not limited to, the expectations, plans, goals, objectives, assumptions, information or statements about future events or conditions which may prove to be incorrect. Although the Corporation believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements and information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements because the Corporation can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. The forward-looking statements are based on the estimates and assumptions made by the Corporation in light of its experience and perception of current conditions and expected future developments, and are subject to a number of significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, general economic, business and market conditions and other risks as are detailed in the Prospectus. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release, and the Corporation has no intention and assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by applicable Canadian securities laws.For further information: Jeremy RocheSenior Manager, Investor RelationsWhistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. jroche@whistlerblackcomb.com     Ph: 604-938-7376