Early blast of winter brings hope to businesses north of Toronto

WATCH ABOVE: Snow isn’t just snow for businesses up north where the white stuff is considered to be white gold. Jennifer Palisoc reports. 

It may be November but it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas North of Toronto, where an early blast of winter is bringing a sense of hope for the season to come.

“We’ve been weather watching with everyone else and to see the snow fall makes us excited for the season,” said Ashley Amis, public relations manager at Blue Mountain Resort.

The hope is that this season will be just like last year. It was the coldest winter in decades but sales heated up. Blue mountain saw a record 700,000 visitors.

“Ontario was the only skier market in Canada that had some sort of growth. They were up 9 per cent and in turn we saw Blue skier visitations up 10 per cent,” said Amis.

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The ski season hasn’t started yet but the snow fall means skiiers, snowboarders and tourists start itching to drive north for winter fun. That, in turn, boosts local economies.

“Not only are they spending money on lift tickets and seasons passes, but there’s also an incremental spend both in the village and the local community,” said Amis. “Whether that’s at gas stations or Quickstop restaurants or repair sho,ps certainly the economy benefits.”

North of Toronto, businesses depend on old man winter not just to help boost their bottom line but also to survive.

Last winter, snowmobile accessories and repair sales doubled at J & R Cycle.

“That was a huge blessing for us,” said John Broderick, owner of J & R Cycle. “It significantly lessened the struggle for us over the winter months.”

“It’s literally pennies from heaven, although we don’t have pennies anymore so it’s nickels now.”

North of the GTA, snow, isn’t just snow. It’s white gold.