Despite the worst snow year in 40 years, bookings for spring break and Easter are surprisingly good, with advance bookings ahead of last season by nine per cent.
According to Tourism Whistler, November through January were up two per cent over the previous years, but dropped off more than six per cent in February. Although a strong spring break and Easter season will help local businesses, overall projections expect room bookings to be down two per cent over the entire season.
"Definitely where weve seen the hit is regional business," said Michelle Comeau Thompson, director of communications for Tourism Whistler. "If you look at places like B.C. and Washington state, in any year these are the people that are very conscious of the conditions when they make a decision to come up here. Theyve had super-early springs in Seattle and Vancouver and theyre not thinking skiing, possibly."
The spring break and Easter visitors will likely include a strong turnout of Mexican skiers, a market that discovered Whistler only recently but has been coming back in greater numbers every spring.
"For that particular market Easter is the biggest holiday of the year, and where we see the biggest visitation to Whistler," said Comeau Thompson.