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

Central Green project gets the green light

Kelowna city council approved a permit on the building which includes a large urban park

Kelowna artist creates fundraiser for a friend

Artist Laurie Koss was inspired by her friend’s cancer battle to help her keep fighting

Kelowna driver’s actions endangered police and public

Man fled in truck, then abandoned vehicle, after cops flagged him down

Update: One injured in Lake Country bus crash

A Central Okanagan School District bus was in an accident Monday morning

Robbery suspect charged

A 32-year-old man faces three charges in connection with robbery attempt at Vernon convenience store

Dragoons showcase “unique” recruiting tool

If you see an armoured vehicle rumbling along Hwy 97 in Vernon, the BC Dragoons say don’t worry..

Senior randomly stabbed in B.C. mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

Penticton bookkeeper may face jail time for embezzlement

Sentencing stances ranged from three years of probation to six months in jail for $60k embezzlement

B.C. Liberal hopefuls begin final leadership push

Five MLAs, one outsider pitch policies to party members

Vancouver Island marijuana producer bought by Aphria in $230M deal

Aphria’s annual production forecast increases to 230,000 kgs

Penticton Lakers lose to Kelowna Owls in basketball provincial qualifier

Junior girls basketball provincial qualifier held in Penticton

Lawyer says RCMP cleared in car wash shooting

Independent report into shooting of Kayman Winter not yet released to the public.

UPDATED: ‘Young, innocent’ teen hit during Vancouver shootout dies

15-year-old Coquitlam boy was in a car driving by the scene

Ontario man charged with selling Canadian’s usernames and passwords

Ontario man ran site that peddled billions of pieces of personal data: RCMP

Most Read