Whistler re-booming?

The Vancouver sun has an article about how the recent snow is set to create the right conditions for a turn-around in the tourism industry for local mountains. It may have meant snow, heavy rain and wind for Vancouver, but the wintery weather has been great news for the mountains.

“We had a few years of decline and flat business. But things are turning around because of the amazing snow,” said Tourism Whistler spokesman Michelle Comeau Thompson.

Whistler hotel bookings for New Year’s Eve are up 32 per cent over last year and up 16 per cent for the entire holiday period, she said. “It’s great to see the strong turnaround and definitely the early snow has been a huge factor,” said Comeau Thompson.

A record-breaking 684 cm of snow has fallen on Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains since Nov. 1. Hotel revenue in Whistler began declining in 2001 — largely due to the strength of the Canadian dollar — and continued to fall for the next three years.

But hotel bookings began to rise last winter and this past summer, said Comeau Thompson. Bookings rose five per cent last ski season and are projected to rise by three per cent this year. “It looks like Whistler is going back in the right direction,” said Comeau Thompson. “No snow in Europe and eastern North America works in our favour. Skiers go to where the snow is.”