Survive or Thrive. What's the future of ski resorts?

By Arjen on 1 October 2016 · 2

Like all ski resorts, Whistler Blackcomb must adapt to a changing ski and snowboard world if it wants to flourish for another 50 years. What will the future hold for ski resorts? Dave Brownlie, Whistler Blackcomb’s president and CEO, offers his perspective.

The Big Picture

Part four of The Big Picture Documentaries, a four-part series exploring big questions:

  • P1: Conflicted Obsessions - Is our thirst for adventure threatening our environment?
  • P2: Tech Trap - What if kids stopped playing outside?
  • P3: Pushing the Boundaries - Is the pull of the backcountry pushing our limits?
  • P4: Survive or Thrive - What's the future of ski resorts?


  • Chester_Tartsnatcher
    Chester_Tartsnatcher op 1 October 2016 · 17:51
    The dichotomy inherent in skiing, the need for snow and cold versus the expenditure of energy which most often emits carbon, manifests largely in transportation. The gorilla in the room in the W/BC film.

    Europe is far ahead of the Americas in this regard with much better access to public transport and the most efficient means of mechanized transportation, the train.

    Whether North America in particular, which has the resources to address the access issue, actually does something remains to be seen. So many rail lines are being torn up and replaced by bicycle trails which is great for recreation, but not practical for real transportation (see John Wayne Trail for example).

    In my own way, I opt to drive to distant places rather than fly. I try to carpool, but there seems to be little sense of community to leverage for that.

    Yes, I still fly to Europe every couple of years because the skiing there is so great and so different from North America. And I still blow tons of gas (petrol) driving the 4 hours per day on the weekends or doing my usual 2000+ mile trips from the Pacific Northwest down to the Southwest to ski Colorado and New Mexico. If there were a viable train option for either of these objectives, I'd do it. But, again, so far we Americans have not stepped up to the transportation plate. We should and I hope that soon we do.
  • AltaSkier8
    AltaSkier8 op 2 October 2016 · 01:35
    The US could definitely use a good intercity high speed rail network. Where they might actually be better than Europe however is freight rail. European roads are really clogged with trucks.


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