Whistler Blackcomb Reservations 2020/2021
Every year, as the snow starts to creep down the mountains, anticipation for the upcoming ski and snowboard season begins to mount.
COVID-19 will make this year a little different than most, so as you start waxing your skis, finding your gloves and combing through the sales for that perfect new shell, our team would also like to help bring you up to speed on the new reservation system, opening on Nov. 6.
In regards to the changes the resort will be making for the 2020/2021 season, Vail Resorts CEO, Rob Katz has this to say:
“There is no doubt this season will be different but we are committed to what matters most: working to protect our guests, employees and communities and doing everything we can to provide great skiing and riding all season long. We are fortunate that our core experience of skiing and riding takes place outdoors, across huge mountains, offering fresh air and wide-open spaces for our guests,” said Katz, “however... some changes will be required this season.”
Jennifer Smith, communications manager for Whistler Blackcomb, figures this may be the best year to experience the mountains, particularly for season pass holders. With a very high probability that the borders will remain closed, and a large portion of the yearly Whistler Blackcomb visitors being international, there will be a large number of people missing from the usual crowds on the mountain.
“This is your year to experience the mountain. You’re going to have a lot fewer individuals… that is huge.”
Who is considered a pass holder?
- For the reservation system, a pass holder is anyone who purchases the following products in advance of the pass sales cutoff on Dec 7.
- WB Unlimited/limited Pass Holder,
- Epic Pass Holder,
- 2-, 5-, or 10-Day Edge Card holders,
- **New WB Day Pass
**For the occasional skier or snowboarder that frequents Whistler Blackcomb, there is a new option to pre-buy up to ten day passes. These tickets will get you into the reservation system rather than purchasing a ticket in advance in-season for the highest purchase price– choose the days you know you are going to ski and have the peace of mind of knowing your access is secured. These reservations follow the same rules as any pass; 7 Priority Days and 7 Day Of Reservations are available. The more days that you lock in in advance, the more you save off the window price with savings of up to 50% available.
Passholders will enjoy Exclusive Early Season Access – only season pass holders can access the resort from opening day on Nov. 6 to Dec. 7. (note: reservations will be required and released on a weekly basis). For other passholder perks visit the Whistler Blackcomb website.
Note: no pass products will be available for purchase after Dec. 7 (except the Spirit Pass for resort employees). Lift tickets will not go on sale until Dec. 8, and even then, none will be sold at Whistler Blackcomb ticket windows — only online and through call centres.
What are ‘Priority Days’? How do they Work?
- Each passholder gets 7 Priority Days.
- Those can be any day of the core season (Dec 8 - April 4).
- A week straight at Christmas or Spring Break or 7 Tuesdays because that’s the day you escape the office and shred.
- Nov 6 - Dec 8 Exclusive preseason booking window: Secure your 7 days before lift tickets even go on sale.
- If you can’t get the 7 days you want during the Exclusive pre-season booking window, and you haven’t used your pass at all prior to Dec. 7, you can get a refund under the included Epic Coverage (note: once you make a reservation for your maximum number of Priority Reservation Days, you will be deemed to be satisfied and no refund will be provided).
- You cannot change Priority Days once they have been selected.
- As you use your Priority Days, you get more: think of it like a bank account that can hold up 7 days – once you ‘spend’ one you have a free slot to book another.
What are ‘Week Of’ Reservation Days?
- You are not limited to only 7 reservations. Pass holders can book as many Week Of reservations as they want – as long as they are within the upcoming week.
- Technically you could sit down every sunday and book the entire week ahead to ensure you can ski whenever you like. However, Vail Resorts reserves the right to restrict access to the resort for those pass holders who consistently fail to show up for their reservations, so only reserve a spot if you intend to use it.
- Once that date passes, you get an open slot back in your bank account and you can reserve another day.
- If there is still space, ‘morning of’ reservations are possible.
- We recommend keeping an eye on the 7-day forecast – book those powder days in advance and you can ensure you’ll get the goods.
View this post on Instagram
With the season in sight, we wanted to share a quick refresher: Priority Reservation Days vs. Week-Of Reservation Days. · Priority Reservation Days: On Nov. 6, you will be able to make reservations for the core season (Dec. 8 – April 4) across all of our resorts. As a pass holder, you can lock in up to 7 Priority Reservation Days for the core season in advance, and as many week-of reservations during the season as your pass type and availability allow. · Week-Of Reservation Days: As our resorts start to open for the season, you can also take advantage of exclusive early season access by making week-of reservations. Booking a week-of reservation does not count against your Priority Reservation Days for the core season. While the first few days will likely see higher volume and extended wait times, there’s no need to rush to lock in your days! We designed this exclusive month-long booking window to accommodate our pass holders' requests before lift tickets go on sale on Dec. 8. Take a sneak peek of our new reservation system above, and see you on the mountain soon! 🏂❄️
How do I make a reservation? What other details do I need to know?
- Pass holders can make reservations online at epicpass.com, on the Whistler Blackcomb website, or over the phone with guest services.
- Don’t forget to add family members to your account to ensure you can make reservations to all ski or ride together.
- Reservations are non-transferrable.
- You do not need to bring anything with you to verify your reservation – essentially the reservation turns on and off the access tied to your pass.
- If there is a resort closure due to certain events such as COVID-19 during a pass holders’ initial Priority Reservation Days selected by Dec. 7 a refund will be possible with Epic Coverage.
- If pass holders experience an eligible personal event that prevents them from using their pass, such as job loss, injury or illness a refund will be possible with Epic Coverage.
Am I going to miss out?
Marc Riddell, West Coast Director of communications for Vail Resorts, would like to point out that, with 3,414 hectares of skiable terrain, capacity shouldn’t be an issue. “We’re the largest ski area in North America, so we’re fairly confident you’re going to get whatever reservation you want,” he said. The reservation system is not in place to restrict access to the mountains, but rather to keep everyone safe. On busy days, the reservation system will allow the resort to predict visitation levels and prepare accordingly to maintain physical distancing in lineups, and on gondolas and chairlifts to ultimately ensure the safety of visitors and staff.
Will this system be in use for the whole season?
According to Rob Katz, “Based on how things play out, we may remove the reservation system, either for the rest of the season or for parts of it, but it would be a lot easier to remove the reservation system than to put one in mid- season.”
What about food service and bars?
- There will be both hot food service and grab n’ go-style food options. Restaurants will be spaced to enable physical distancing.
- Pre-packed liquor will be available, but WB will not operate any full-service bars “as we do not believe convening in a traditional bar setting, anywhere in resort or throughout our community, is safe amid COVID-19,” Katz states.
- The off-mountain establishments, Dusty’s, Merlins and the GLC will open with restaurant-style seating and pre-packaged beverages, both at lunch and after skiing until 5 p.m.
What about Ski and Ride Lessons?
- Ski and Ride School lessons must be booked in advance – they will include a reservation – you do not need to do anything further.
- Health checks will be required for participants.
- The maximum group size for any program will be limited to 6 people.
What about everything else?
- Guests will be required to wear face coverings to get on the mountain and in all parts of resort operations, including in lift lines and riding in lifts and gondolas– buffs and neck warmers are acceptable.
- The mountain will be a touchless environment, so please remember to bring a credit card or debit card as the mountain will not be accepting cash
- To maintain physical distancing on our chairlifts and gondolas, WB will only be seating related parties (guests skiing or riding together) or: two singles on opposite sides of a four-person lift; two singles or two doubles on opposite sides of a six-person lift; or two singles on opposite sides of our larger gondola cabins;
For more information visit the Whistler Blackcomb website
Review the Vail Resorts Letter to Valued Guests.