A Brief History of Whistler

Back in February 1966, when Garibaldi Lift Company opened its ski area on the west side of Whistler Mountain, Whistler Resort was only a vision of a dedicated few. The development of Whistler Resort just 14 years later, and its successive growth into an award-winning, international resort, is unparalleled in ski history.

To complement Whistler Mountain, Blackcomb Mountain opened its brand new facility on December 6, 1980, and Whistler Village was built at the base of these two side-by-side mountains. In 1988, Whistler Mountain installed a high-speed, 10-person gondola; in 1994, Blackcomb unveiled its 8-person express gondola, improving the Village’s ski-in/ski-out convenience to two vastly different yet equally spectacular ski areas. In 1996, Whistler Mountain installed a 6-person, high speed gondola at its Whistler Creekside base.

The Village itself was carefully designed to reap the benefits of the Coast Mountain’s excellent geographical location with innovative design principles, developed by the brightest architects, planners, and landscape professionals in North America, emphasizing excellent sun exposure and breathtaking vistas. The Resort’s high design standards and commitment to first-class facilities and service have earned international recognition.

About Whistler

Nestled in the Coast Mountains, only 40 kms inland from the Pacific Ocean, and 120 kms from one of Canada's largest urban centres, Whistler Resort provides a Canadian west coast mountain experience with snowy winters and moderate temperatures.

Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains offer the highest lift-serviced vertical and the largest terrain of any ski area in North America, with large alpine bowls and forested glades, expert grooming and ski runs that last forever. Check Whistler-Blackcomb.com for all the details.

And there are plenty of other activities year round to entice the visitor, including hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, white water rafting, mountain biking, golf, tennis, in-line skating and sailing in summer to snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, skating, hockey and, of course, skiing and snowboarding in the winter, along with fine dining and shopping in award-winning Whistler Village. Whistler's range of accommodation and conference facilities make it an ideal choice for meeting planners spring through fall. Check the Tourism Whistler website for all the details, www.whistler.com

Many visitors are surprised to find that Whistler is a lively mountain community of 9,500 permanent residents. The sense of community is very strong here in Whistler, with a passionate commitment to protecting the natural mountain environment surrounding us and moving to become a sustainable resort community. See the section on Toward Sustainability for more information.

In addition to permanent residents, Whistler is a part-time home to approximately 11,500 second-home owners from around the world, and 2,300 seasonal residents. With overnight and day visitors, our per day population averages 28,280 in winter and peaks (usually around New Year's) at approximately 45,000. For more statistical information like this, see our new reporting website, at whistler2020.ca.