Note to media: Images of fresh snow in Whistler are available for editorial use. Access our Fresh Images library on Tourism Whistler’s online media room. Suggested Tweet: La Niña loves #Whistler, which has received 17 feet of snow so far; another 10 inches of snowfall expected this week http://bit.ly/sJUIXJ
Whistler, B.C. – With the best snow conditions in North America, the resort of Whistler is seeing the business benefits of a La Niña winter – and it’s only January.While many resorts in North America are struggling with well-below average snow coverage, Whistler has received 17 feet of snowfall in the first two months of the winter season and boasts 8,171 skiable acres of terrain – more than any other destination in the United States and Canada. In fact, compared to major resorts in Colorado, Utah and California, Whistler has more than twice the amount of snow. Since Christmas Eve, more snow has fallen in Whistler (six feet) than major Californian resorts have received season to date.
Last year the resort received more than 52 feet of snowfall, shattering the average annual accumulation of 34 feet, and La Niña is helping pave the way for a repeat performance this year. The first two months of Whistler Blackcomb’s 2011/ 2012 winter season have been excellent, with 517 centimetres (203 inches) of total snowfall, 83 centimetres (32 inches) in the last seven days and 29 centimetres (11 inches) in the last 24 hours. And the forecast is calling for another 25 centimetres (10 inches) of snow on the mountains over the next four days.Not only does Whistler have the best snow – it also has the best playground. Whistler Blackcomb offers two mountains that rise one vertical mile from the valley floor, more than 200 trails, three glaciers, 37 lifts, 16 alpine bowls and the world-record breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola – plus one of the longest seasons in North America, running through late April with summer glacier skiing and riding until late July.Tourism Whistler’s research indicates that the pace of bookings leading up to the recent holiday period was ahead of last year and very strong compared to previous years. On the whole, December 2011 will stand as one of the resort’s busier Decembers on record – and the snowy, vibrant but not overly crowded village provided the perfect winter setting for vacationers.Several factors affecting the positive results include: the success of Tourism Whistler’s marketing efforts following the unprecedented exposure from the 2010 Winter Games; gains in early bookings through tour operators and from the resort’s early booking offers; Whistler’s exceptional snow conditions; and the interest generated by the Whistler Sabbatical Project, the resort’s 2011/ 2012 winter marketing campaign.Looking ahead, the pace of bookings for the next several months is well ahead of last year. The forecast is for this winter season to be up by at least four per cent compared to 2010/ 2011, in terms of overall room nights booked. This is particularly notable, given the lingering impact on travel due to economic volatility in the international marketplace.Whistler’s reputation as a winter destination with consistent snow coverage has played a major role in resort’s long-term success. And a major contributor to the recent growth in bookings has undoubtedly been La Niña – a weather pattern which, for Whistler, means cooler than normal temperatures and heavy precipitation. La Niña has delivered to Whistler what many visitors are having trouble finding at other North American destinations; lots and lots of snow. And while bookings are up, there are still plenty of accommodation options in the resort – from economy and deluxe to luxury – for those interested in a snowy Whistler winter vacation.In addition to the sensational snow conditions, guests to Whistler also have several new activity options this winter, including: new public ride programs for bobsleigh and skeleton that provide guests with the thrill of gliding down the track at more than 100 kilometres per hour at the Whistler Sliding Centre; and a new outdoor skating surface, free to the public, in the heart of Whistler Village.Also new this winter, is the Whistler Sabbatical Project, Tourism Whistler’s winter-long promotion offering weekly prizes in addition to the ultimate grand prize of a month-long Whistler stay – including accommodation, lift tickets, equipment, transportation, a salary and a series of unique Whistler experiences. Contest closes January 31, 2012. Visit the Whistler Sabbatical Project at whistler.com/wouldyoudoit Whistler-based travel consultants at whistler.com can also customize a vacation package, taking care of flights, transportation, accommodation and activities. Call 1.800.WHISTLER (1.800.944.7853) to request a no-obligation quote or visit whistler.com for more details and offers.
Whistler is Canada’s premier year-round leisure and meeting destination located in the Coast Mountains 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Consistently rated the top ski resort in North America, Whistler was the Host Mountain Resort of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The resort offers an extensive range of accommodations totaling 10,000 bedrooms among 24 hotels as well as townhomes, condos, B&Bs and chalets. Whistler also boasts more than 100 restaurants and bars, 200 retail shops, 25 spas and countless activity options from world-renowned skiing and snowboarding, mountain biking and golf, to hiking, rock climbing, and watersports. The Resort Municipality of Whistler is home to a diverse community of more than 10,000 permanent residents.Tourism Whistler is the member-based marketing and sales organization representing Whistler, operating the Whistler Conference Centre, Whistler Golf Club, Whistler Visitor Centre, as well as 1.800.WHISTLER and whistler.com – Whistler’s official source for visitor bookings and information. As the convention and visitors bureau for the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Tourism Whistler represents more than 7,000 members who own, manage and operate properties or businesses on resort lands including hotels, restaurants, activity operators and retail shops.Media can visit whistler.com/media for Whistler facts, media releases, story starters, local personality profiles and access to images and B-roll.Media ContactPatricia Westerholm
Specialist, Corporate Communications