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Whistler Reaction - ESPN X Games Expansion Announcement

May 1, 2012

WHISTLER, BC, May 1, 2012 – Whistler Resort will not host an X Games event as part of ESPN’s latest expansion efforts beginning in 2013. This morning, ESPN announced the three new X Games host cities that will be part of their global expansion and Whistler was not among them. The news is being received with disappointment across the resort, yet ESPN’s feedback on Whistler’s bid offers some optimism that a future opportunity to work with ESPN could be explored.

“Whistler put in a very strong bid, and their venues and team are world class,” said Scott Guglielmino, ESPN senior vice president, programming and X Games. “An X Games event at Whistler would be a special experience. Ultimately, the decision to not be at Whistler next year was based on the opportunities in other markets versus any shortcomings with Whistler.”

ESPN will not add a new winter event to the global calendar at this time and will instead add three new summer events, complementing the two existing winter versions of X Games in Aspen, Colorado and Tignes, France, and the existing summer X Games in Los Angeles, California. A successful Winter X Games Whistler bid would have seen the X Games make a third North American stop. With other cities bidding for a summer X Games within the same April timeslot as Whistler, and prospective global sponsors looking to reach markets beyond North America, ESPN has ultimately made the decision to award the April timeslot to a summer X Games outside of North America. 

“We are certainly disappointed,” says Dave Brownlie, president and chief operating officer at Whistler Blackcomb. “We submitted a strong bid, and we believed that a Winter X Games Whistler event would have been an incredible partnership bringing significant benefit to both sides. ESPN has shared with us that they also believe Whistler would be a great fit, and we would certainly be open to discussing future opportunities with ESPN if the occasion were to arise.”

Support for the Whistler bid has been strong – from the level of community interest to financial and in-kind commitments made by major stakeholders including the Resort Municipality of Whistler, the Government of British Columbia, the Canadian Tourism Commission, Tourism Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb and the resort accommodation sector.

“We are very satisfied with the bid we submitted,” says Barrett Fisher, president and CEO of Tourism Whistler. “We congratulate the host cities and wish them much success. And as for what’s next for Whistler, we look forward to further building upon our own successful signature sports events which include this summer’s Crankworx Freeride Mountain Bike Festival and next spring’s 18th edition of the TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival.”

Whistler is Canada's premier year-round leisure and meeting destination located in the Coast Mountains 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Consistently rated the top ski resort in North America, Whistler was the Host Mountain Resort of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The resort offers an extensive range of accommodations totalling 10,000 bedrooms among 24 hotels as well as townhomes, condos, B&Bs and chalets. Whistler also boasts more than 100 restaurants and bars, 200 retail shops, 25 spas and countless activity options from world-renowned skiing and snowboarding, mountain biking and golf, to hiking, rock climbing, and watersports. The Resort Municipality of Whistler is home to a diverse community of more than 10,000 permanent residents.

Tourism Whistler is the member-based marketing and sales organization representing Whistler, operating the Whistler Conference Centre, Whistler Golf Club, Whistler Visitor Centre, as well as 1.800.WHISTLER and whistler.com - Whistler's official source for visitor bookings and information. As the convention and visitors bureau for the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Tourism Whistler represents more than 7,000 members who own, manage and operate properties or businesses on resort lands including hotels, restaurants, activity operators and retail shops.

Whistler Blackcomb, the official alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, is situated in the Resort Municipality of Whistler located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia 125 kilometres (78 miles) from Vancouver, British Columbia. North America’s premier four season mountain resort, Whistler and Blackcomb are two side-by-side mountains which combined offer over 200 marked runs, over 8,000 acres of terrain, 16 alpine bowls, three glaciers, receives on average over 1,090 centimetres (430 inches) of snow annually, and one of the longest ski seasons in North America. In the summer, Whistler Blackcomb offers a variety of activities, including hiking and biking trails, the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, and sightseeing on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. For more information, visit http://ww1.whistlerblackcomb.com/media

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