Whistler Blackcomb has renewed its commitment to the Whistler Experience program, and participants can expect additional savings on the Spirit Pass for the 2018-19 season.
"What caught my eye right off the bat with this program was this idea that everyone in the entire community is getting exposed to the same service training philosophy," said Whistler Blackcomb (WB) COO Pete Sonntag.
"I think it's really powerful, and it's not something that exists at most other resorts. It's a true strategic advantage for Whistler."
Whistler Experience is a service leadership training program for local employees that is administered by the Whistler Chamber of Commerce and includes a range of discounts and perks to program participants through the Spirit Pass. WB sets the price point for the pass.
Last week, WB announced that the Spirit Pass will be offered at $285 below the fall price of WB's Unlimited Pass. The 2017/18 Unlimited Pass was priced at $1,289. Specific pricing for the Spirit Pass will be officially announced with other fall products and will be lower than the cost of an Epic Pass, which was priced at USD$899 this past winter.
The savings should help pass sales for the Chamber after the 2017-18 Spirit Pass was priced $1,229, which added to fears that local employees would choose the comparably priced Epic Pass (CAD$1,167 under the current exchange rate) and its unlimited skiing at Vail Resorts' roster of properties over the Spirit Pass and its training program. Another draw is that the Spirit Pass is available for purchase year-round, unlike WB's other traditional pass products. Whistler Chamber CEO Melissa Pace estimated that Spirit Pass sales were down about 40 per cent last year.
"That caught us by surprise, and we had a lot of conversations with Melissa and reaffirmed that we were committed to fixing it," Sonntag added.
"With where we've got it priced going into the fall, it's exactly where it should be and we expect the program to get right back on track in terms of participation."
Sonntag said the ski resort is also committed to sending its own 4,000-plus workforce through the Whistler Experience training program.
"We're really pleased to see Whistler Blackcomb's support, especially for the local workforce and business community," said Pace.
"For us to be able to continue this journey with Whistler Blackcomb, especially during a labour challenge, is really significant. In fact, we're thrilled."
The list of perks associated with next season's Spirit Pass has not yet been announced.
To learn more about the Spirit Pass, visit whistlerchamber.com/whistler-experience/get-your-spirit-pass.