Put Your Name on Whistler's Gondola (For a Price)

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SAM Magazine-Whistler, May 17, 2007-The ramifications are obvious: the Nestle Chairlift, The Remax Run (with associated million dollar ski-in, ski-out real estate), the Purina Poma. How about the Halliburton Jackson Hole Tram? That's what the future might look like if other resorts follow Whistler's lead and start selling naming rights to their lifts, as Intrawest is doing with its new Peak to Peak gondola. Hey, it works for other on-mountain features, like terrain parks.

To plunge into this uncharted territory, Intrawest has named sports/entertainment/media company IMG as the exclusive sales agent for the naming rights to its new gondola, which will link Whistler to Blackcomb.

"The Peak to Peak Gondola will be a key to Whistler Blackcomb's future, and the corporate naming rights will be an important part of the project's success," said David Brownlie, Whistler Blackcomb's Chief Operating Officer. "IMG's global influence and demonstrated success made them the ideal company to lead the search for the right corporate partner for the Peak to Peak Gondola project."

"We are thrilled to be teaming up with Intrawest to find the naming rights partner for this world-class project," adds Brad Pelletier, vice president and managing director of IMG Canada. "In our mind, the Peak to Peak Gondola will be recognized as an engineering marvel and a true landmark, much like a Golden Gate Bridge or CN Tower. It offers a very exciting opportunity for companies to be a part of the history that this project will make."

Given the often acerbic humor of Whistler locals, it will be interesting to see how they view this opportunity. Mountain purists, who relish in the often quirky and historical significance of trail and lift names, will no doubt see Intrawest's decision as yet another sign-along with global warming-that Armageddon is nigh.


How about the "Longs Drug Express"

Sheesh. Hardly Armageddon, but tacky nonetheless. What if the Golden Gate Bridge were named the "1-800 Dentist Bridge"?? If it is going to be a landmark I would think they would want to name it appropriately.