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Canada, U.S. set records for skier visits

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The 2002-03 winter was a record year for skier visits in both Canada and the United States.

Figures released by the Canadian Ski Council show 18.9 million skier visits at Canadian ski areas last winter. That ties the record set in the 2001-02 season.

Eastern Canada saw the biggest increase with Quebec ski areas reporting 6.9 million visits, a 13 per cent increase over the prior season. Ontario ski areas went from 3 million in 2001/2002 to 3.2 million this past season.

British Columbia and Yukon ski areas tallied 5.5 million skier visits, down from 6.34 million in 2001-02 Whistler-Blackcomb counted more than 2 million of those visits.

B.C.’s 6.34 million total in 2001-02 was a record year for the province and represented a 33 per cent increase over 2000-01.

Alberta totalled 2.4 million skier visits in 2002-03, down from 2.6 million the previous year.

Meanwhile in the U.S., a record 57.6 million skier visits were counted last winter. That’s a .45 per cent increase over the previous record of 57.3 million, set during the 2000-01 season. It’s an 11.3 per cent increase over the long-term national average, measured from 1978-79 to 2002-03.

The U.S. figures were compiled independently by both the Kottke Report and by the National Ski Areas Association.

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