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Mad River changes name, expanding

Mad River Nordic Ski Enterprises Inc. is now doing business under a new name and will be expanding its services.

The company has been operating the Powder Mountain Lakeside Lodge, Whistler’s only backcountry ski lodge, in the upper Callaghan Valley since 1998. It will now operate under the name Callaghan Country Wilderness Adventures. The name was chosen to more accurately reflect the company’s future goals.

"The first step was to build the lodge and build the market for a wilderness lodge venture in the Coast Mountains," said Brad Sills, president of Mad River. "As we begin this second phase, we will expand our infrastructure to become a year-round wilderness adventure company, rather than strictly a backcountry ski lodge."

While the company’s focus is currently still the lodge, the expansion will include the development of a day-use venue for wilderness recreation activities, such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and possibly ice skating. The company also plans to develop an increased range of summer activities, both at the lodge and for day visitors.

"We are very excited about the strength and scope of our new positioning," said Jeannette Nadon, sales and marketing manager. "Our tenure area encompasses 3,500 hectares of incredibly diverse wilderness terrain: working forest, pristine old growth, mountains, valleys, glaciers, meadows and lakes."

Premier teams with Sandman

Whistler Premier Resort and Accommodations, which manages over 170 condominiums and 72 units in the Blackcomb Lodge, is going online with Sandman Hotels, Inns and Suites. Guests can now book their entire Whistler itinerary through the Sandman Web site or central reservations. The Sandman StarPlus corporate member will also receive preferred room rates at The Blackcomb Lodge.

Whistler Premier is also teaming up with Marina Hawaii Vacations, whose stock includes over 300 privately owned Hawaiian condos, to establish a strategic marketing plan designed to mutually expand their guest data bases. By sharing past guest lists and reaching into hotel rooms in Whistler and Hawaii, the management companies will cross-reference their vacation packages. Homeowners who have their units managed by either company will also receive preferred wholesale rates should they choose to visit either destination.