Gargantuan gondola breaks three world records


WHISTLER, British Columbia – Whistler and Blackcomb mountains were officially united today with the grand opening of the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. Skiing, riding, and sightseeing on the mountains has forever changed at Whistler Blackcomb and guests came from far and wide to be part of the momentous occasion.

The gargantuan Doppelmayr 3S gondola is setting up to be Canada’s newest tourism icon and is an engineering feat, breaking three world records: Longest Continuous Lift System – Whistler Village Gondola (1,157m/3,796ft.) across to Blackcomb Mountain (4.4km/2.73 miles); Highest Vertical Point – 436m/1,427ft. above Fitzsimmon’s Creek; and Longest Unsupported Freespan – 3.024km/1.88 miles between the towers furthest apart.

Premier Gordon Campbell attended the official ceremonies on the Whistler Mountain side and dedicated the first cabin the Spirit of BC Sky Cabin. “The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola is an iconic new attraction that further cements Whistler’s reputation as one of the world’s top tourist destinations,” said Premier Gordon Campbell. “It will help to build excitement and drive new economic opportunities and growth as we count down to when BC hosts the world during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.”

“An impressive feat of engineering, with a minimal environmental footprint, the spectacular PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola will confirm Whistler’s international reputation as a tourist destination and one of the premier ski resorts in the world,” said the Honorable Gary Lunn, Minister of State (Sport). “It will provide a thrilling experience for visitors when we welcome the world in 2010 to cheer on the athletes at the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.”

The snow was falling as guests gathered at the Whistler and Blackcomb PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola terminal buildings to celebrate and ride the gondola. Guests to ride the first cabin from Blackcomb to Whistler ranged in age from 3 to 90 years old and were nominated by the community for their various contributions to Whistler Blackcomb and for their passion for the mountains.

The first Sky Cabin from Whistler to Blackcomb was filled with 21 guests who purchased their seats through an auction benefiting charities in the Sea to Sky region, including the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation. A total of CDN$22,000 was raised for community organizations in need.

“Today is a historical day for Whistler Blackcomb. The launch of the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola is a once in a lifetime event and the skiing, riding, and sightseeing experience on the mountains is now forever changed,” said Dave Brownlie, president and chief operating officer of Whistler Blackcomb. “We are thrilled so many people could make it out in person or online to share this special day with us. Now that the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola is open, we invite guests to come and see how it can help them make the most of their day at Whistler Blackcomb.”

Consistently ranked as North America’s top ski and snowboard resort, Whistler Blackcomb elevates summer adventure to new heights. The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola will revolutionize the winter skiing and riding, as well as summer sightseeing and alpine hiking experience. Located a scenic two-hour drive north of Vancouver up the spectacular Sea to Sky Highway, this all season resort is truly spectacular by nature.