Big White breaks all-time resort records
Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna, British Columbia Canada is reporting record tourism numbers for the Christmas season, according to resort Senior Vice President Michael J Ballingall.
“We knew the Christmas reservations were the largest we have ever seen in our history, but this new snow in the last 48 hours has brought out more locals and condo residents than ever before,” Mr. Ballingall commented.
In the last 2 days, Big White has broken all-time records in the rentals of ski and snowboard equipment (1,774 units), use of water in the resort (over 505,000 US gallons), day parking for visitors to the resort from the Central Okanagan (2,118) and overnight guests booked in rental accommodation (with 96.2% of accommodation booked out for the week - a 7% increase from last year).
Snowfall has also been steady, with 61cm of new snow falling in the last seven days, forming an alpine snow base of 176cm.
“This is the type of Christmas every resort owner hopes for,” said Peter Plimmer, President of Big White Ski Resort Ltd. “Our business is 100% reliant on Mother Nature supplying the snow and she did so just in time to celebrate our best Christmas ever. Every business on the mountain and all our suppliers throughout the Okanagan Valley will benefit from the volume of skiers and snowboarders we are hosting every day.”
The amount of new snow has allowed for a number of new lifts and terrain to open in resort, including the West Ridge ski area. Opened today, Monday December 29, West Ridge will increase skiable terrain at the resort by 48%.
Resort visitors began lining up at the Gem Lake Express before 8am today to be first to access West Ridge. Four locals, Mike Berger, Megan Griffiths, Keith Klotz and Bob Vaughan (local business owner of Surf Kelowna) were lucky enough to be on the first chair.
“The line-ups were incredible with the anticipation of fresh Okanagan Champagne powder,” said Jay Hayashi, General Manager.
There was great excitement about the new snow across the resort, with one gentleman commenting: “It was like heli-skiing for the price of a lift ticket.”
Big White Ski Resort is British Columbia’s second most popular winter resort, experiencing over 600,000 skier visits per year.
More photos from the opening of Gem Lake...