The wintry weather on B.C’s south coast may be inconvenient for some, but it is a boon for B.C. ski hills that are already enjoying exceptional early-season conditions heading into the Christmas season.
Financially, things are looking as good as they could be for ski hill operators.
“Last year, we did get open 100 per cent for Christmas. This year, we’re running about three weeks earlier than that. It’s a great start to the season, looking forward to a long season,” Cypress Mountain’s Joffrey Koeman said.
Early numbers from across the province look encouraging: skier visits are up and hotel bookings are tracking above last year. Thanks to the uptick, resorts are only now getting back to levels unseen since before the 2008 financial meltdown.
Christopher Nicholson of the Canada West Ski Association said the industry is hoping for up to 9 million ski visits in Western Canada.
B.C.’s ski industry, although huge, is just a fraction of the global ski industry. Good ski conditions are important to attract international skiers who have a myriad of options.
Industry insiders hope a good start to the 2016-17 ski season will help set up B.C. resorts for a bright future.
– With files from Aaron McArthur