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November room nights set new record

Early season conditions set stage for winter



Early season snow conditions may have primed Whistler for a busy winter season ahead, starting off with a new room night record set in November.

While the numbers for December's room nights won't be tallied for another month, Whistler is hopping this holiday season, with all signs pointing to a busy winter season ahead.

"The first quarter is up significantly over last year, which of course wasn't a very good year but it's really significant," said Norm Mastalir, managing director of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. "And January especially... is up dramatically."

The 2015/16 anniversary season got off to a bang with the first month setting new room night records.

Tourism Whistler confirmed November's room night numbers for the resort are up 10 per cent over last year, and November 2015 is now the busiest on record, replacing November 2013.

The increase in November room nights is attributed to many factors, including the favourable early season conditions, an early opening of Whistler Mountain, a busy American Thanksgiving weekend and Cornucopia, the 11-day annual food and drink festival, not to mention to strong American dollar.

Mastalir, who is also the head of the Whistler Hotel Association, put some of November's growth in perspective. The growth in November's room nights was just 0.5 per cent at his hotel, and overall occupancy for the month was 26 per cent — it is the slowest month of the year.

"We still have a long way to go in terms of growing November, that's for sure," said Mastalir.

The room night numbers, however, are heading in the right direction, and have been throughout 2015.

This past summer is now the busiest on record with some months seeing double digit increases over last year, which was also a record-breaking year.