Despite being a town that would not exist in its current state without the sport of skiing, Whistler is gearing up to celebrate National Ski Day for the very first time.
Whistler Blackcomb will be offering a special beginner’s package to mark the occasion, set to take place on Jan. 14. This year’s celebrations are taking place at ski resorts across the country, making up Alpine Canada’s third annual National Ski Day in support of Canadian ski teams. This year will be WB’s first time participating in the initiative.
“Whistler Blackcomb is a world-class destination for learning how to ski and snowboard and CIBC National Ski Day presented by Alpine Canada aligns perfectly with our continued commitment of growing the sport(s) of skiing and snowboarding,” said Rob McSkimming, WB’s vice president of business development in a statement.
In the name of growing the sport, WB’s National Ski Day offer is targeted towards those aged 19 and over who are interested in learning how to ski or snowboard. The $25 package includes a lift ticket for the mountain’s learning area, rentals and a beginner lesson, with 225 spots available.
“The $25 beginner package is similar to what we offer during our Never Ever Days program and since it has been so successful we thought it would be perfect for this opportunity as well… We are excited to be a part of this initiative and we are committed to ensuring our guests have the best possible learning environment and experience,” wrote McSkimming.
One local skier is particularly happy to see her home resort jump on board the initiative.
“(Whistler Blackcomb) is such a leader in the industry, so to have the opportunity to ski and have a lesson at such an affordable price, it really opens a lot of doors for some people that couldn’t otherwise afford it,” said Olympic ski cross champion Marielle Thompson. “Get out there and try it because it’s not that hard. With this you have the opportunity to have a lesson with only a few other people in your group, and it’s a great opportunity to learn. It’s fun, even if it’s a bit cold sometimes — skiing’s a blast.”
In addition to growing the sport, all National Ski Day offers also provide national-level ski athletes with valuable and much-needed financial support.
“Our programs depend a lot on sponsorship, and this goes into that and helps us have the best programming in the world. We can always use more funding, it improves our teams and our opportunities,” said Thompson.
While Thompson won’t be home in Whistler to partake in National Ski Day, she’ll be celebrating from afar, as she competes in a World Cup event overseas.
For those skiers who may be too experienced to take part in the official WB offer, Thompson said there is still another great way to mark the occasion.
“Just get out there and go skiing if you have a pass. Just enjoy it,” she said. “For me, a lot of it’s about family. I love skiing with my family, skiing with my friends. It kind of just brings everyone together… It’s a really great recreational sport that everyone can do.”
For more information about National Ski Day or to book one of the beginner packages, go to www.whistlerblackcomb.com/cibc.