Whistler Mountain formally announced its $6 million capital investment plan this week, which includes an expansion of the Whistler Village Gondola base, new runs on Creekside and a new Ski Scamps facility. Work on the three projects began earlier this summer, but specific details were only released this week. Two new top-to-bottom ski trails — with a vertical drop of 980 metres — will be cut from the West Bowl to just above Creekside, where they will merge with Lower Franz. Two shorter runs will interconnect the main routes. The trails will be rated intermediate and advanced. The 34 hectares of trails are being developed in accordance with Whistler Mountain’s master plan, which provides for future lifts in the area. Whistler Mountain says all work will meet or exceed guidelines in the provincial Forest Practices Code. At the Village Gondola, a 5,000-square-foot expansion on the main level will provide expanded retail and rental facilities, a bigger Guest Relations area and more accessible Ski Scamps registration. The second level will become a 5,000-square-foot bar/restaurant, with a 4,500-square-foot patio deck. Whistler Mountain is working on a theme for the bar, but wants to provide "a lively apres-ski and evening spot for a slightly older group than the village presently offers." At midstation on the gondola, a new 8,000-square-foot Children’s Learning Centre will service the Ski Scamps program. The building will allow the Ski Scamps program to expand from 325 children per day to 500. All levels of Ski Scamps will use the facility for lunch, with a central kitchen providing cafeteria-style lunches to all the rooms. There will be separate rooms for 3-4 year old Wee Scamps at the new facility and a room for up to 12 two year olds at the gondola base. The children’s handle tows will also be re-located, to increase the skiing area surrounding the facility. This will also complete an entirely self-contained children’s indoor/outdoor learning facility.