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Tech changes at Whistler Blackcomb to do away with gates and (most) physical passes

The ski resort will make the changes for the 2024-25 season.
Whistler Blackcomb is introducing new pass and gate tech ahead of the 2023-24 ski season.

Whistler Blackcomb (WB) will introduce new tech ahead of next year’s ski season to streamline pass purchases which will also see the gate system across the mountains removed.

The freshly-announced “mobile pass” and “mobile lift ticket technology” will be live for the 2024-25 season within the resort’s My Epic app.

According to a release, guests will be able to skip the ticket window and buy their lift tickets online and activate in the app, allowing them to skip having to visit the ticket window completely.

“With this enhancement, the My Epic app will provide Whistler Blackcomb guests a ‘one-stop shop,’ offering lift access, real-time resort updates, personalized stays, account information and more,” reads the release.

According to Whistler Blackcomb, the technology allows guests to be scanned to access the mountain, “hands free, straight from their pocket via low-energy Bluetooth technology.”

The technology is already in place at Whistler Blackcomb’s sister resorts under the Vail Resorts umbrella for the 23-24 season in the United States, and according to the company it was adopted successfully and implemented with positive feedback.

Whistler Blackcomb’s COO, Belinda Trembath, said she is excited to bring the technology to Whistler.

“We take tremendous pride in continuing to innovate and unlock ways for our guests to get the most out of their time here at Whistler Blackcomb,” she said in the release.

“It also supports Whistler Blackcomb’s ‘Commitment to Zero’ sustainability actions over time, reducing the waste created by plastic cards with RFID chips.”

WB expects most guests to take advantage of the new technology, but physical passes will remain available upon request for the 24-25 season, and going forward will remain available to those who “cannot, or do not want to use their phone” to access the mountain. The technology will require guests have Bluetooth enabled and various permissions allowed on their phone to be successfully scanned otherwise.

A big change from the new technology will be the removal of the gate system, which required guests to swipe a physical pass to get through turnstiles and hop on chairlifts.

Removing the gates means the return of hand-scanning at lifts.

“While the gates were a compelling innovation when introduced many years ago, technology has changed dramatically since then,” reads the release.

“Whistler Blackcomb believes the most meaningful technological innovation for the future is Mobile Pass and Mobile Lift Tickets, which eliminates the need to stand in line at ticket windows and provides a more environmentally friendly experience.

“The resort is looking forward to having team members greet and welcome guests as well as improving lift loading efficiency.”