Updated Wednesday, June 17th 2020.
If you’re wondering “when will Whistler reopen?”, you’re in the right place. With the ski season abruptly cut short by COVID-19, we’re just as eager as you to get back on the trails and exploring the beauty of the Sea-to-Sky region.
Government restrictions have had a huge impact on Whistler, which relies on tourism and day visitors. The resort is built on hospitality and leisure with hotels and restaurants being primary employers in town. While the virus itself doesn’t appear so prolific in Whistler, the ramifications of the shut-down certainly are.
Here’s an outline of what’s happening in Whistler (based on municipal and provincial sources), and the lasting effects Coronavirus may have on the resort.
The WHO declared a pandemic March 11th and by March 16th the BC Government began to outline strict physical distancing guidelines. For the most part, Whistler began bidding farewell to visitors from mid-March and transitioning dining into takeout options only.
A provincial state of emergency was declared March 18th and by March 20th, Nita Lake Lodge had made the difficult decision to close it’s doors to new arrivals. This was inline with the majority of hotels in the resort, as the effects of the pandemic began to ramp up.Click here for a full, up-to-date COVID-19 timeline in BC.
What’s The Situation Now?
A small number of Whistler businesses remain closed at this point, however many are now operating while doing their part to protect the community.
On May 6th, Premier John Horgan announced a plan to begin safely restarting the province of British Columbia beginning in mid-May. “Our plan puts safety first. British Columbians have made enormous sacrifices so far, and it’s thanks to them that we’re able to begin to lift some restrictions,” Horgan said.
B.C. is currently in Phase 3 of the restart plan, which began in early June and includes:
- small social gatherings;
- some provincial parks open for day use;
- opening more non-essential businesses in keeping with safe operations plans. Includes campsites, hotels and K-12 in-person classes.
At the time of publishing this post, Whistler Blackcomb is open with Vail Resorts explaining: ‘To further prioritize the health and safety of our employees and guests in response to COVID-19, we have reimagined the resort experience for this summer.’
Whistler Blackcomb Reopening Protocol Includes:
- Physical distancing,
- Guests required to wear face coverings in certain areas,
- Capacity of lifts and gondolas reduced,
- All transactions will be cashless.
Unfortunately, it has been confirmed that Crankworx is cancelled. The mountain bike festival provided an update via a press release dated May 26th.
In the article, Crankworx organisers explained: ‘Whistler Blackcomb and Crankworx Events Inc. can now confirm the Whistler stop of the Crankworx World Tour cannot be staged in its hometown in British Columbia, due to provincial restrictions barring events of its size during Phase 3 of the BC Restart Plan.’
“Our thoughts are with the athletes who train so hard for Crankworx Whistler, and our global community of mountain bikers whose enthusiasm and excitement is what drives us,” says Darren Kinnaird, General Manager.
Should I Travel To Whistler?
If you live in BC, you may be tempted to visit Whistler now that certain restrictions are lifted.
Our beloved Village Stroll is cautiously returning to business, however, we’re sure it will look very different from what we’re used to. Restaurants and cafés have reopened with many offering dine-in options at reduced capacities.
A couple of other considerations when planning your trip:
Go Fest was cancelled and Whistler Children’s Fest has been postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19. The Red Bull 400, which typically attracts up to 1,000 participants to Whistler Olympic Park, is also canceled.
Personal service establishments in BC, including spas, salons, and tattoo parlours, may begin to reopen from June but, again, operations will likely be very different from the norm. A couple of spas have begun to reopen and Whistler’s popular Scandinave Spa returns to limited operations July 3rd.
Thinking of just enjoying a hike? We advise you to check trail status in advance. Some of our most popular parks, such as Joffre Lakes Provincial Park and Garibaldi Provincial Park, remain closed until further notice.
So, When Will Whistler Reopen?
For the most part, Whistler is open and welcoming visitors.
Nita Lake Lodge is pleased to be accepting reservations and has taken every precaution to mitigate risk to our guests and staff. We’ve set up a special web page detailing what we’re doing to bring you Peace Of Mind while we join the world in navigating the ‘New Normal’.
For up-to-date information, we recommend visiting our website or our Facebook page.
When Will Whistler Reopen?Further Resources:
For non-medical information about COVID-19, including the latest information on travel recommendations and social distancing, contact the official provincial helpline on 1.888.COVID19 (1.888.268.4319) or via text message at 1.888.268.4319.
Information is available in more than 110 languages, seven days a week between 7:30 am – 8:00 pm.
Additional COVID-19 information for travellers is available via Destination BC at hellobc.com.
In Whistler, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is the official health authority. Any visitors with questions about COVID-19 or public health in Whistler are encouraged to consult the Vancouver Coastal Health website.
- Visit Health Link BC’s website: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-feature/coronavirus-covid-19
- Visit the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)’s website for the latest outbreak update on COVID-19 here.
During uncertain times, it is normal to be feeling anxious about…well, everything. Check out this post for some deep breathing exercises courtesy of Urban Balance to help you get through each day.
To be kept up-to-date on how and when Whistler will reopen, we recommend liking Tourism Whistler on Facebook.