With winter in full force and holidays wrapping up, there’s no better time for avid skiers and snowboarders to focus their attention back on the mountain. Near Kelowna, BC, Big White Ski Resort is reporting record tourism numbers for the Christmas season, not to mention a generous amount of new snow.
“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 skiers and snowboarders than ever before,” said Michael J Ballingall, Senior Vice President of Big White Ski Resort.
Snowfall has been steady, with 61cm of new snow in the last seven days, forming an alpine snow base of 176cm – which can only mean more happy guests.
“This is the type of Christmas every resort owner hopes for,” said Peter Plimmer, President of Big White Ski Resort. “Our business is 100 percent reliant on mother nature supplying the snow and she did so, just in time to celebrate our best Christmas ever. Plimmer also notes that businesses on the mountain and suppliers throughout the Okanagan Valley will all benefit from the volume of skiers and snowboarders visiting the resort.
hanks to the good news, a number of new lifts and terrain have been opened at the resort, including the West Ridge ski area, which will increase skiable terrain at the resort by 48 percent. Opened earlier this week, resort visitors began lining up at the Gem Lake Express before 8am, 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 excitement was incredible with the anticipation of fresh Okanagan champagne powder,” said Jay Hayashi, General Manager of Big White. One guest commented, “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.