History of Panorama
The history of Panorama begins in 1959, when several local ski enthusiasts joined together to look for a location to open a local ski hill. After four years of searching, and several unsuccessful attempts, the present location was established in 1962. The original facilities consisted of a warming hut, a rope tow accessing what is known today as "Old Timer", and a parking lot. The area was named after the nearby Panorama Plateau, a popular hiking area.
The plan to establish the Panorama ski slope soon outgrew the resources of its volunteers. A consortium of 12 local businessmen saw the potential of Panorama and formed the Panorama Ski Hill Company Ltd in 1968. In 1969, they cleared several slopes and installed a massive mile-long T-Bar, which at the time was among the longest in North America.
During the early 70s, the Panorama Ski Hill Company Ltd. continued to grow, with the addition of an A-frame day lodge for the new ski shop and ski school. It soon became apparent, however, that an additional lift would be required to accommodate the growing number of skiers. And with that in mind, water and electricity were provided for 75 lots in 1974, which were sold in the residential subdivision to finance the purchase of a double chairlift. The Horizon Chair was installed in 1975 above the T-Bar, increasing Panorama's vertical drop to 3,200 feet and accessing two super runs: Skyline and Roller Coaster.
In 1978, Panorama was purchased by the Calgary-based "Cascade Group", which saw the potential of the area as a major ski destination resort. With a larger capital base, the Cascade Group developed a master plan for the resort to accommodate overnight guests. Construction of the original village began in 1979 with the Toby Creek Lodge, followed by the addition of the Horsethief Creek Lodge and the Pine Inn by 1982. The Cascade Group was also responsible for installing the Toby and Sunbird Chairs in 1980, tennis facilities in 1982, an extensive snowmaking system in 1983, the addition of the Champagne T-Bar in 1984 for the first Men's World Cup Downhill, and a conference centre in 1985. By the mid-eighties, the village could accommodate over 1,200 skiers in one of the most unique destination resorts in North America. In 1988, the original giant T-Bar was replaced with Quadzilla, a high-speed detachable quad that increased the total lift capacity to 7,000 skiers per hour.
In 1993, Panorama was purchased by I.W. Resorts Limited Partnership, a subsidiary of Intrawest Corporation. One of Intrawest's first enhancements was the installation of the Summit T-Bar to the top of the mountain, bringing Panorama's vertical drop to 4,000 feet and opening up a number of black diamond runs and gladed terrain for advanced skiers and riders. By 1995, experts could ride over 200 acres of double black diamond terrain in the new Extreme Dream Zone.
In 1997, Intrawest unveiled a 10-year master plan, pledging to open more terrain, improve snowmaking, develop an 18-hole championship mountain golf course, and create a rustic village with restaurants and shops at the base of the mountain.
Later that year, the old A-frame was replaced by The Residences at Ski Tip, a multi-use facility that housed the new skier's day lodge, lift ticket office, guest services desk, ski school desk, and a clothing & accessory store. In the late nineties, Intrawest continued to grow Panorama, opening Tamarack Lodge, a retail & rental shop, a real estate discovery centre, a ski & snowboard park, slopeside townhomes, a paved valley trail, the new Panorama Springs and adjacent 6000 square feet outdoor hot pools, a village gondola to link the lower and upper village, a central check-in, and the much anticipated Greywolf Golf Course. In the new millennium, Panorama Mountain Village saw the installation of two new high speed chairlifts, the terrain expansion into Taynton Bowl, the construction of Taynton Lodge, 1000 Peaks Summit, 1000 Peaks Lodge, the Lookout, a new and improved terrain park, and the development of a Bike Park in the Summer months.
On February 26, 2010 Panorama Mountain Resort returned to local ownership when a group of investors from the Panorama community purchased the resort.
Panorama Mountain Resort is not simply about development anymore. In recent years, the company has incorporated the innovative Project Planet and is committed to responsible environmental action. The latest changes include the use of environmentally friendly products in all common areas, low-flow faucets and toilets, and the use of 100% recycled paper in public washrooms.
We've come a long way since the original warming hut and rope tow. Today we are an international destination renowned for long descents, incredible hot pools, jaw-dropping heli-skiing and amazing golf.
Panorama is located on British Columbia's Powder Highway, at the heart of some of North America's best skiing. From the Calgary International Airport (YYC, Calgary), drive 3.5 hours along one of the world's great mountain highways, through Banff and Kootenay National Parks. Panorama is a two hours from Banff, Alberta and only 90 minutes from the Canadian Rockies Airport in Cranbrook, British Columbia.
The mountain rises a full 4,000 vertical feet above the village, but it's not until you slide off the Summit Quad that the true scale of the terrain becomes apparent. All around, as far as the eye can see, are snow covered peaks including the world-famous Rocky Mountains.
The mountain offers 2,847 acres (1,152 hectares) of skiable terrain, ranging from endless corduroy cruisers, to 'backcountry style' runs in Taynton Bowl - it's a former heli-skiing area. Panorama also boasts a custom designed Discovery Zone, perfect for families and those learning to turn.
The regular ski and snowboard season lasts from mid-December to mid-April, although pre-season alpine ski race training starts in early November.
While Winter at Panorama is undeniably amazing, the mountain offers exciting activities year-round. From mid-May to mid-October, the award-winning Greywolf Golf Course offers signature holes in a spectacular alpine setting. By late-June, the Panorama Bike Park opens single track trails with natural features, wide cruisers, and expert terrain with man-made stunts. Meanwhile, the less adventurous can beat the Summer heat at the slopeside Panorama Springs pools and waterslide complex.
Panorama Mountain Resort manages 13 condos, townhomes, and hotels, offering more than 400 rooms for a maximum capacity of over 2000 people. In addition, there is the Earl Grey Lodge bed & breakfast and a number of cabins and chalets that can be privately rented.