HISTORY OF CHATEAU WHISTLERThe resort destination of Whistler is nestled below the Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains in the Whistler Valley, north of Vancouver, British Columbia. In recognition of its world-class status as a ski resort, the Village of Whistler co-hosted the 2010 Winter Olympic Games with Vancouver. Whistler continues to be the fastest-growing municipality in British Columbia, and has been recognized as the Top Ski Resort in North America for the past decade.
Whistler is the ultimate rags-to-riches West Coast story. Hailed the Princess of the West Coast, Whistler has been transformed in just over 25 years from the tiny wilderness recreation community originally known as Alta Lake to the world famous resort village. Central to everything in the resort is Whistler Village, with its shopping areas and après-ski restaurants bordered by squeaky-clean streets. The skiing is epic and the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains combined have over 200 runs and 33 ski lifts.
The history of Whistler begins many thousands of years ago when the Coast Salish First Nations people inhabited the land, hunting and gathering and living a nomadic lifestyle on the land. The Whistler Valley was an isolated wilderness frequented only by the Lil'wat Nation from the Mount Currie area and the Squamish Nation who lived in an area stretching from present day North Vancouver to the Squamish River watershed and the northern area of Howe Sound.
The European history of Whistler reaches all the way back to the 1860s, when British Naval Officers surveyed the area and gave Whistler Mountain the name London Mountain. The name Whistler was used by these early settlers because of the whistling sound made by the western hoary marmots that live among the rocks. The Pemberton Trail from the top of Howe Sound through the Coast Mountains linking the Pacific coast to the Pemberton valley north of Whistler was completed in 1877, encouraging trappers and prospectors to settle. Construction began in 1914 on what was to become the famous Rainbow Lodge on Alta Lake, catering to outdoors people. The highway eventually pushed through from Vancouver in 1965, with Whistler Mountain opening for skiing during the same year.
In February 1966, the Garibaldi Lift Company opened its ski area on the west side of Whistler Mountain. The development of Whistler Resort just 14 years later, and its successive growth into an award-winning, international resort, is unparalleled in ski history.
To complement Whistler Mountain, Blackcomb Mountain opened its brand new facility in December 1980, and Whistler Village was built at the base of these two side-by-side mountains. The Village was carefully designed to reap the benefits of the Coast Mountain's excellent geographical location, emphasizing sun exposure and mountain vistas.
The Fairmont Chateau Whistler is a four season, four star resort and opened its doors in 1989 just shortly after Blackcomb Mountain opened its brand new facility. The stunning chateau is conveniently located at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, a five minute walk to Whistler’s village and a remarkable 75 mile drive from the city of Vancouver along the picturesque Sea to Sky Highway.
The Fairmont Chateau Whistler was built with an architectural mandate to infuse the charm and style of earlier Canadian Chateaux, into a modern structure. The interior design was under direction of internationally acclaimed interior designer, Frank Nicholson.
Now there are more than two million visitors who visit Whistler each year. Most come for the superb terrain, impressive snowfalls and village – like atmosphere which combine to make an unforgettable vacation experience. Interesting to note is that there are 15,200 pillows within 500 meters of the Whistler Ski lifts. The ski in and ski out accommodation represents more than 75% of the existing pillows. The Chateau Whistler consistently has been rated as one of the top 50 ski resorts by Condé Nast Traveler and offers the utmost in service, quality and luxury amidst unmatched mountain vistas.