Whistler powderhounds can rejoice this holiday season with December snowfall in the resort nearing record levels and room night occupancy pacing ahead of last year’s numbers.
“The ski season of 1994/95 holds the record for snowfall accumulation in the month of December with 380cm,” read an email from Whistler Blackcomb’s public relations coordinator Laura Gallant. Snowfall stats in Whistler have been collected every year since 1979. “We have a little ways to go before beating the December snowfall record, but with a little help from Mother Nature it could be possible,” added Gallant.
At press time (Dec. 22), there’s been more than 500cm of snow this season and a 211cm base. More than half of that snowfall occurred in the month of December, with almost 300cm falling so far. An astonishing 121cm, or almost four feet of snow, fell in a seven-day span between Dec. 13 and 20.
This promising data follows last year’s ski season, which saw the resort’s average annual snowfall of 39 feet surpassed by the end of March. By season’s end, the resort recorded almost 46 feet of snow.
Whistler’s reputation for heavy snowfall continues to drive visitor numbers, according to Tourism Whistler. Room nights in the first three months of 2013 are pacing ahead of last year’s solid numbers.
“We know that our reliable snow conditions definitely drive room nights to the resort. I think the most significant factor that we see is that our snowfall is reliable and consistent,” said Tourism Whistler’s manager of corporate communications Patricia Westerholm. “We’ve had three consecutive years of really phenomenal snow conditions, so we benefit also from what we call the ‘halo effect,’ where people will remember that the previous season was really great, and that translates into repeat bookings for those guests who were here and also for new bookings for those who don’t want to miss out on the snow conditions.”
Tourism Whistler visitor survey respondents often indicate that they come to Whistler because of the reliable snowfall, according to Westerholm.
As of Saturday (Dec. 22), Whistler Blackcomb opened up 100 per cent of its runs, making over 1,100 acres of skiable terrain available, more than any other resort in North America.