Record-breaking numbers at Kelowna airport and on area ski hills

More than 150,000 people passed through YLW terminal in December, 3.5 per more than same month in 2014.

December was a record-breaking month here both on the ski hills and at the airport.

A total of 150,491 passengers passed through the terminal at Kelowna International Airport  last month, a 3.5 per cent increase over the number that used YLW in December 2014.

Coupled with reports that ski resorts in the Thompson Okanagan are also experiencing record-breaking numbers due to weather, exceptional snow conditions and a low Canadian dollar, the latest airport numbers have local tourism officials smiling.

Thanks to temperatures dropping in early November and a plenty of snow, many ski resorts in the B.C. southern Interior opened ahead of schedule at the end of 2015, according to the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association. Big White opened its lifts nearly two weeks earlier than expected on Nov.13.

“It’s always been the (owners) policy to open a lift as soon as snow permits and it’s safe to do so, and that’s what we (did) again this year” said Michael Ballingall, senior vice-president of Big White Ski Resort Ltd.

Other ski hills in the Interior also opened early, including Sun Peaks near Kamloops, SilverStar near Vernon and Apex Mountain Resort near Penticton, said TOTA.

The good snow conditions, recent holiday celebrations and a Canadian dollar that has dropped substantially in value compared with the U.S. dollar have combined to make the start of the 2015-2016 winter season one of the best for tourism in many years, added the tourism association.

As a result, B.C. Ski resorts are currently on a roll thanks to the record-breaking snowfall, higher revenues and increased visits from U.S. visitors.

Christopher Nicolson, president of Sun Peaks Resort near Kamloops said his resort has seen a 16 per cent increase in bookings for February.

 

Just Posted

New multi-million baggage system up and running at YLW

Kelowna Airport’s $39 million outbound baggage system can handle 900 bags an hour

New safety doors aim to protect transit drivers

These new full-length doors will be tested in Victoria, Kelowna and Abbotsford

Death and fire not treated as suspicious

RCMP has turned the invesigation of Monday’s fire on Gaggin Road over to the BC Coroners Service

Reworked plan for Kelowna’s Green Square development approved

After rejecting first version of residential development expansion, council says yes to new plan

Police searching for GoPro owner

Police are looking for the owner of a GoPro seized by police in Kelowna

One person sent to hospital after fire near Keremeos

Fire ripped through a shed and Winnebego at Sunkatchers RV Park Co-operative

Penticton Indian Band selects five new councillors

PIB aiming for internal reconciliation after by-election

Chiefs ground Rockets in Spokane

Former Rockets’ head coach Dan Lambert leads his Chiefs past Kelowna Wednesday in WHL action

Education minister blasts Chilliwack school trustee on gender issues

Fleming calls Neufeld’s behaviour ‘shameful’ and ‘unacceptable’

Two types of civic engagement in PIB

Some voted in the byelection, others protested the polls, as Penticton Indian Band fissures continue

‘Fresh eyes’ looking into three missing Cowichan Tribes men

First Nations want answers to their disappearances

Pedestrian hit moments after receiving safety reflector from police

The Vancouver Island man was treated for minor injuries by police at the scene

FortisBC LNG site exports first shipment of gas to China

The shipment is part of a pilot project that could see more exports in the future.

BC RCMP hunt for white SUV that rammed cruiser

Kamloops RCMP are looking for a white SUV headed north on the Yellowhead Highway

Most Read