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Whistler Blackcomb announces major $18 million capital expansion for 2013.2014

Lift Expansion Includes New Whistler Mountain Harmony High-Speed Six-Pack Chairlift And New High-Speed Quad Chairlift In Blackcomb Mountain's Crystal Zone

WHISTLER, BC, Jan. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. announced today that Whistler Blackcomb has unveiled plans for a major lift expansion. Whistler Mountain's Harmony high-speed, quad chairlift will be replaced with a new Doppelmayr high-speed, detachable, six-pack chairlift capable of transporting six people on each chair. Blackcomb Mountain will see a lift enhancement with a high-speed quad chairlift going into a new area in the Crystal Zone, currently accessed by a fixed-grip triple chair.

"This lift expansion clearly demonstrates our commitment to continuously enhancing the skiing and riding experience on both mountains," says Dave Brownlie, President and Chief Executive Officer of Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc.  "This project will increase lift capacity in some of the most desired terrain on the mountains by 56% and we expect it will contribute to the growth of our business."

The new high-speed quad chairlift in the Crystal Zone will be 1,708 metres (5,604ft) in length, with a vertical rise of 535 metres (1,755ft). Skier carrying capacity will increase by 65% over the current lift to 2,400 skiers per hour.  The new quad will deliver skiers and riders to the same location as the current triple chair next to the Crystal Hut. However, the aspect of the new lift line is dramatically different, and will originate 158 metres (518ft) lower than the old Crystal lift. The bottom elevation will be 1,292 metres (4,239ft) and the top elevation of the lift will be 1,827 metres (5,994ft).

This bottom terminal location along the Blackcomb Glacier Road ski-out eliminates the need to utilize the Excelerator Chair to access many Crystal Zone trails including Ridge Runner, Rock 'N' Roll, and gladed trails like Outer Limits. It will also be even quicker to return to the Glacier Express chair to access Horstman Glacier and Blackcomb Glacier. The increased length of the chair's line will give skiers and riders the opportunity to enjoy the entire Crystal Zone - from undulating cruisers to gladed zones riddled with natural terrain features and snow-caked trees straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. The name of this exciting new quad chairlift will be determined through a competition to be announced by Whistler Blackcomb later this winter.

The Harmony Six high-speed chairlift will replace one of Whistler Blackcomb's most popular lifts and will dramatically improve the uphill capacity by 50 per cent; going from 2,400 skiers per hour to 3,600. The Harmony Six will service terrain spanning from the edge of the Symphony Amphitheatre all the way over to Glacier Bowl, adjacent to the Peak Express. This area, known as the Harmony Zone, makes up over 485 hectares (1,200 acres) of Whistler Blackcomb's 3,306 hectares (8,171 acres) of total terrain. With a wide variety of beginner to expert terrain options, the Harmony Six will ensure skiers and riders are able to spend more time on the mountain exploring the spectacular, powder-covered alpine for which Whistler Blackcomb is celebrated.

The Harmony Six has the same alignment as the current Harmony quad, spanning 1,729 metres (5,672ft) in length, with a vertical rise of 525 metres (1,722ft). The top elevation of the lift is 2,107 metres (6,912ft); the bottom elevation is 1,582 metres (5,190ft).

Construction on the lifts will begin this spring and will continue through the summer and fall with an expected opening at the beginning of the 2013.2014 winter season. For more information, please review the FY13 Lift Expansion Backgrounder in the Presentations section of the investor relations website: www.whistlerblackcombholdings.com.

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains forward-looking statements or information, within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws, including, but not limited to, statements with respect to the timing of the completion of the project and expected growth of the Corporation's business, which may prove to be incorrect.

The forward-looking statements and information contained in this press release are based on certain factors and assumptions made by management of the Corporation including, but not limited to: assurances from suppliers, previous lift installations and there being no unforeseen obstructions to the construction of the project.

The forward-looking statements and information contained in this press release are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated including, but not limited to, risks relating to unfavourable weather conditions, availability of capital, supply and installation of equipment, environmental laws and regulations, the impact of any occurring natural disasters and economic, business and market conditions.  A more detailed description of these risks is available in the Corporation's annual information form dated December 12, 2012, which is available on the Corporation's website and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements or information prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein.  Although the Corporation believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements and information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements or information because the Corporation can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct.

These forward-looking statements and information are made as of the date of this press release, and the Corporation has no intention and assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements or information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by applicable Canadian securities laws.

ABOUT WHISTLER BLACKCOMB HOLDINGS INC.

Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. owns a 75% interest in each of Whistler Mountain Resort Limited Partnership and Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises Limited Partnership, which, together, carry on the four season mountain resort business located in the Resort Municipality of Whistler, British Columbia.  Whistler Blackcomb, the official alpine skiing venue for the Olympic 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 Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain are two side-by-side mountains, connected by the world record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, which combined offer over 200 marked runs, over 8,000 acres of terrain, 14 alpine bowls, three glaciers, receive on average over 1,192 centimetres (469 inches) of snow annually, and offer 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. Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "WB".  For more information, visit www.whistlerblackcombholdings.com.


SOURCE Whistler Blackcomb

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