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April 23, 2009

Whistler Feels Decline

Some Resorts are not so lucky:

Whistler – The latest round of cutbacks at Whistler Blackcomb (WB) is hitting year-round, salaried employees this time, with the announcement that wages will be rolled back to last year’s levels and incentives will not be paid.

In response to questions about reports of significant losses at WB this winter, President and Chief Operating Officer Dave Brownlie wouldn’t release any dollar figures but said skier visits are down 15 to 16 per cent so far for the 2008-’09 season compared to last winter.

Meanwhile, Tourism Whistler statistics are showing an approximate decline in hotel room nights of 11 per cent through February — somewhat welcome news after early-season projections indicated a potential drop of up to 20 per cent.

“We don’t talk about our numbers externally but certainly we’re sharing with staff the challenges,” Brownlie said Tuesday (April 14). “It has not been a good year for Whistler Blackcomb or, quite frankly, Intrawest (WB’s parent company).”...

He said WB officials have worked to reduce operating costs at two other points in the season — in November and again in February, when a chunk of seasonal ski and snowboard school instructors were laid off.

This is more in line with what I expected for Vail.

Posted by Justin at April 23, 2009 02:00 PM