Why buy a condo at Big White? Why not Whistler-Blackomb? Both are great resorts. To help answer the question, we have rated Whistler and Big White on a number of criteria that are important to us that are presented in the following table:

CriteriaBig WhiteWhistlerComments
Vertical800m1600mHowever, all 800m is interesting at Big White where as only the upper 1200m is interesting at Whistler
Size2500 acres7000 acresBig White has another 4500 acres for future expansion
SteepsGoodExcellentLonger at Whistler; harder to find at Big White
Bowls3 good ones6 great onesWhistler also has six more good bowls
BumpsVery goodExcellentNot sure that Big White has a run that meets bump competition requirements
GladesExcellentGoodThere is extensive gladed skiing off of almost every lift at Big White
CruisersExcellentExcellentWhistlers cruisers are longer (due to the extra vertical) but more crowded
Snow qualityOkanagan Champagne powderWest coast cementBig White's powder is the lightest and best of any resort in Canada; Whistler has better spring corn snow
SunninessOften fogged inOften fogged inThe difference is that the glade skiing is still excellent when it is fogged in at "Big White Out"
LiftsVery goodExcellentBoth are mostly served by high-speed detachable quads; Big White will soon become excellent if the rumors about improvements in 2004/05 are true
CrowdsNot very crowdedVery crowdedFrequently we are the only skiers on a run, but avoid Christmas and Presidents weeks at Big White
Hill ContouringMinimalExtensiveIt gets boring skiing (green & blue) runs that have been contoured to the extent they have been at Whistler.
Apres skiPoorExcellentWhistler is known for its night life, Big White is known for its lack of night life
Skier attitudeFriendlyAgressiveWe have gotten tired of the attitudes and airs of people skiing at Whistler
AccessibilityExcellentGoodNon-stop flights from Toronto to Kelowna + 1 hour up the mountain; no need for contingency for traffic congestion through Vancouver and across Lion's Gate bridge or for highway closures due to accidents and washed out bridges
AffordabilityReasonableExpensiveWhistler is twice as expensive as Big White during the high season; its reasonable to ski-in to the condo for lunch at Big White
Investment PotentialExcellentQuestionableBig White is starting to boom while Whistler has been booming for fifteen years

As you can see from the table, each resort has its pluses and minuses. For our ski condo purchase decision, Big White edged out Whistlers in the overall analysis.


Henry & Gail

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