In addition to record snowfalls and record skier visits, the month of March was an all-time high for room-nights sold in Whistler — a 25 per cent increase over the same month last year. Statistics released by the Whistler Resort Association show 83 per cent occupancy for the month of March, 12 points higher than the occupancy rate in March 1998. The forecast for room-nights sold over the whole winter shows a 23 per cent increase over last winter. And the summer forecast is for a 13 per cent increase over last summer. The WRA does not release actual numbers of room-nights sold. However, with all the new hotel rooms built in recent years a significant downturn in the overall occupancy rates was expected for several years. The WRA reports the largest growth in business this winter was from the U.S. market, which is up 57 per cent year to date. The majority of American visitors are from Washington and California, but significant increases have been recorded from the mountain states as well as the Midwest. Canadian visits are up 11 per cent this winter, with notable growth from Ontario and Quebec. Germany and the Netherlands have shown significant percentage increases in visits, but the U.K. remains Whistler’s strongest overseas market.