Viva Whistler and Blackcomb!
A few weeks ago I made a trip with some friends up to Whistler/Blackcombe. It is a bit pricier that U.S. ski resorts, but they had a ton of snow and lots of things to do while we were there. I had a few observations about Whistler that I thought I should share:
I usually notice bad customer service, though I am very tolerant of lapses in good customer service. This comes from being a waiter when I was in college. The customer service at Whistler was really outstanding, though. One of my friends fell on his first run of the first day and twisted his knee. He could not ski the rest of the week. Whistler refunded his lift ticket and the ski rental place (Spicy Sports) refunded his equipment rental costs. Neither had to do that, but I'll remember that consideration when planning a trip next year.
The lift operators were the most polite and friendly ski resort personnel I have ever encountered. Most were from the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. They all had a friendly greeting or a kind word when you were getting on or off the lift. Zowie! Certainly not the kind of attitude you get from lift operators in California or Colorado where they seem to barely hide their disdain for you.
I was also impressed with Vancouver. Vancouver's "highways" really can't be called that since the main highway up from Washington state dumps right in to the city streets. However, parking there is very easy. You an pay your parking meter either with a credit card (using the machine on the street) or you can pay with your cell phone. A very cool feature that I did use.
So, Canada/Vancouver/Whistler - After you get that whole "Olympics thing" behind you in 2010, I'll definitely be back.