Chairlift layout is terrible to get to Tantyon Bowl, Checkin/booking service is abysmal
The resort at Panorama would be a good resort if they catered to those individuals who take yearly ski holidays, as the only way to get people to come back is to make sure they have a good time. These are the people who book their ski vacations in October/November and come to spend their hard earned money on good skiing. After booking my vacation I was bombarded with 1-3 emails a week from Panorama advertising their latest sale; including gift vouchers for the resort, discounts on lodging that was equal or greater than the early booking discounts, $55 lift tickets (which is the same price as that offered to those with Louise Cards) and $55/night lodging. This leaves a sour taste in your mouth.
Lets start of with the good aspects of Panorama Resort.
1) It has a huge variation in terrain that will keep skis of all abilities busy for several days
2) It is the in the top five for best ski in/ski out resort in BC
3) Most of the on hill accommodations are new and properly maintained
However for all of these good aspects of Panorama it lacks two major factors which are needed at a ski resort in the highly competitive kootenay region; SERVICE and SNOW!
The SNOW at Panorama is severely lacking and should be instead defined as ICE. Their method of snow measurement also needs to be adjusted, other ski resorts should adjust their measurement techniques as well (talking to you Lake Louise), to inform skiers that a base of 145 cm means you will be skiing on rocks on any terrain that is not serviced by snow making equipment or groomed regularly. To enjoyably ski a black of double black at Panorama, they need to register 200+ cm. Bring your rock skis or head up to Kicking Horse for better run coverage.
The SERVICE provided by the staff is abysmal; from check-in to cafeteria, lifties to ski patrol
Checking in was a disaster that apparently started before we even arrived, as we found out. When we booked we were told that we should pay extra money to ensure that our party would be placed in the same building, however, upon arriving we found out that same building means same complex in Panorama. In addition, Panorama's definition of "townhome" is not the same as other resorts like Kimberly, Whistler, SunPeaks, instead it would be better defined as a condo with neighbors on both sides as well as either above or below you. On top of that, providing a one parking spot for an 8 person condo is inexcusable, especially since their were parking stalls to spare around the complex because of units which were not rented out; be accommodating already!
ON HILL SERVICES are terrible. The cafeteria is incredibly slow, the lifties are more inclined to make pretty patterns in the snow than ensure that their is snow on the pick-up and drop off points of the chair-lift; nothing like standing up and needing the chair to push you past the plastic-fake snow platform. Snow-patrol is very controlling for those advanced skiers booking it down the taynton bowl run-out/lower green runs to get in line for the THREE CHAIRLIFT RIDES to get back to the best terrain on the mountain.
I know that all ski resorts have their drawbacks; Kicking horse has only one gondola which creates a crowd on the base of the mountain, Revelstoke is a long drive with expensive on-mountain accommodations, Lake Louise has no on mountain accommodations, Kimberley has old chairlifts, Fernie's chairlift layout is abysmal, but the experience that Panorama provided will having me looking else where to fill my 20+ ski days per year.