March 15, 2016 2:49 am
Updated: March 15, 2016 3:47 am

B.C. ski hills enjoy one of the strongest seasons in years

WATCH: It turns out this is one of the strongest seasons in years that British Columbia ski hills have had. Tanya Beja explains the factors at work, and who's benefiting.

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Stormy weather in Metro Vancouver brought another fresh dump of powder to local mountains this weekend, just in time for spring break.

Last year’s warm winter made for one of the worst ski seasons in decades.

This year, Grouse Mountain — with a peak base of 350 centimetres on Monday — is seeing more visitors than ever.

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“This holiday season was our busiest on record, and we also had our busiest Family Day long weekend on record,” Grouse Mountain’s Julia Grant said. “It’s been great and we’re still out enjoying the slopes.”

Even South Africa’s rugby sevens team came out to play in the snow after competing in the Canada Sevens tournament at BC Place over the weekend.

“It’s sunny in South Africa, so we don’t get a lot of snow out there, so this is a nice experience for the guys,” said South African sevens coach Neil Powell. “For some of the guys it’s the first time they experienced snow.”

More snow means more tourists and Whistler is reaping the rewards with over 1.1 million visitors in 2016, about 20 per cent more than the same time last year.

More tourists makes for more job opportunities.

“It’s steady employment for a lot of people,” Cypress Mountain’s Joffrey Koeman said. “We have up to 800 people readily employed throughout the whole winter, which is a big change from last year when we had some ups and downs.”

– With files from Tanya Beja

© 2016 Shaw Media

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