With Whistler Blackcomb (WB) slated to reopen for winter operations in just a few weeks, pass holders can start planning out their ski season beginning this Friday.
The resort's online reservation system for priority ski days is set to go live on Nov. 6, giving Epic, WB Unlimited, Edge Card, and Whistler Day Pass holders an exclusive opportunity to lock in their spots on the mountain for up to seven of their most-desired ski days this winter.
Vail Resorts announced in August that it would require pass holders to make a reservation in order to ski or ride on any of their slopes this winter—including Whistler Blackcomb's—in an effort to limit capacity and maintain safe physical distance between guests during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
From Friday, Nov. 6 to Tuesday, Dec. 8, pass holders can reserve their preferred days on the mountain during Whistler Blackcomb's core season (Dec. 8 – April 4) in advance.
While WB says "there's no need to rush," with a full month to book in those priority days, any eager pass holders looking to make a reservation when the system opens on Nov. 6 should expect wait times. Vail Resorts has created an online waiting room that guests will automatically be entered into when visiting Epicpass.com.
On days when the reservation system is busy, pass holders will be able to enter their email addresses in order to receive a notification when it is their turn to make a booking. Once notified, customers will have 20 minutes to click the link and access the reservation system.
On Nov. 6, the online waiting room will go live at 8 a.m., and will allow pass holders to begin making reservations at 9 a.m., according to a statement from WB.
Once Vail's portfolio of resorts begin opening, skiers and snowboarders will also be able to make week-of reservations for their preferred mountain. Booking a week-of reservation will not count toward the seven-day Priority Reservation Day limit for the core season. Pass holders will also receive exclusive early-season access to Whistler Blackcomb when it opens on Nov. 26, before lift tickets go on sale to the general public on Dec. 8.
When lift tickets do go on sale, day-of skiers will not be able to walk up to a ticket window to purchase one as per usual. Instead, tickets will only sold on WB and Vail websites and through the company's call centers. Guests will only be able to use the ticket windows to pick up their pre-purchased lift tickets.
As pass holders use up their Priority Reservation Days throughout the season, they will be able to book new ones, maintaining up to seven (or however many days of access are remaining on their pass) at any time. That's in addition to the ability to make as many week-of reservations throughout the season as each guest's pass type and availability allows.
Requiring pass holders to make a reservation before arriving at the mountain is just one of several new safety measures the resort is implementing this winter. Skiers and snowboarders will also be required to wear face masks or coverings this winter, while physical distancing will be kept in mind while loading chairlifts and gondolas.
According to WB, staff 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.
More information on Whistler Blackcomb's winter operations plans can be found on the resort's website.