Whistler is cool for tourists around the world again.
The ski resort's third quarter financial results show skiers and snowboarders from all over the world are flocking to the mountains en masse, looking for thrills in the terrain that featured heavily in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
A Whistler Blackcomb news release said the mountains drew 20.4 per cent more international visitors in the 2011-12 ski season, contributing to increases in "every key metric" including revenue and effective ticket price (ETP), which measures lift ticket sales divided by skier visits.
Company revenue climbed to $34.4 million from $30.2 million in the previous year, while revenue for the nine months ended June 30, 2012 climbed to $209 million from $186.4 million.
“We saw growth in all areas of our business for the 2011-12 ski season as a result of our focused efforts to drive destination skier visits and sustain our solid regional base," Whistler Blackcomb President and Chief Operating Officer Dave Brownlie said in the release.
In addition to the revenue increases, Whistler also posted its highest ever lift revenue, at $43.3 million for lift ticket and frequency passes, according to Pique Newsmagazine.
These numbers came despite the fact that the resort didn't see a substantial increase in total skier visits. The third quarter saw approximately 332,000 skier visits, compared with 346,000 in 2011.
The news wasn't always so rosy for Whistler. In August 2011, the company announced a $6.8 million net loss for its third quarter, what it called "typical" for that time of year, with revenue decreasing by one per cent from its 2010 totals.
Brownlie remarked at the time that Whistler was facing "headwinds" in the market for visitors from areas such as the United States and Europe.
This year, the resort reported its third-quarter net loss decreased by $3.4 million, or 27.4 per cent.
With the results, the company has announced it will spend $10 to $12 million in capital expenditures in the 2012 fiscal year, which ends on September 30, 2012.
Whistler announced last year its intention to invest in new lifts for the popular Harmony and Crystal ski areas.
Whistler previously said decreasing visits from international tourists were a sign of the global economy slowing down. With the news that visits are going up, there may be signs of recovery.
Any resort named the No. 1 ski resort in North America in 2008 by Outside Magazine has to have some really great qualities (I mean really, Utah itself is actually one big postcard). Snowbird is located in the Little Cottonwood Canyon, in the Wasatch Range of the Rockies. This popular resort offers some of the most challenging powder skiing and snowboarding around. Snow lovers of all levels and types can enjoy more than 4700 acres of skiable slopes (not to mention nearby Alta Ski Area). This area gets an average of more than 500 inches of snowfall per year, and is known for its nice long skiing season. Once all that fine snow has melted, the resort turns into a summer mountain oasis for hikers, mountain bikers, fisherman, and vacationers from all around the world.
See how tough this is getting. We are sure we are going to get an ear full at the next ski conference from our friends at Banff about this ridiculous rank and it's all because these resorts are truly located in special places. We really like the way the Banff folks put it: quite simply, three ski areas and two mountain towns set in the heart of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Banff National Park (boom). Banff truly creates the essence of unspoiled wilderness skiing. It's rare to find ski areas in the middle of real wilderness, but when you arrive, your vacation is given plenty of time to enjoy the majestic peaks, gorgeous woodlands, roaming wildlife and fantastic snow. The Lake Louise Ski area was the proud recipient of the WestJet Up! Magazine 2009 Value Award, and with over 4,200 acres of terrain spread across four mountain faces, Lake Louise offers some pretty sweet skiing and riding. When visiting Lake Louise, be sure to take your camera because the crazy views of mountains, glaciers, lakes, and forests are truly special.
Many will say that it's worth going to Le Massif just for the view, but everything else is great as well. Tucked a little further away, Le Massif draws you into it's beauty every mile of the way - mix in the powder and the spectacular view, and this a must destination for any snow lover. It has the highest vertical east of the Canadian Rockies, with unique views of the St. Lawrence River. Our friends at Le Massif describe it best: at one hour East of Québec City, Le Massif offers the highest vertical drop east of the Canadian Rockies (2,625 ft.). With its indomitable skia terrain and angled slopes that seem to sweep straight into the sea, the mountain is also renowned for its impressive snowfall with over 22 ft. annually with close to 100 acres of off-trail terrain. Slide enthusiasts are sure to be thrilled!
Some will argue (actually a lot will argue) that the gorgeous view of Cook Inlet from Alyeska is one of the best views if not THE best of any ski resort in the world. Being a Tahoe skier, I tend to lean toward water views, and with Alyeska you get a sick view of the ocean surrounded by beautiful mountains and glaciers (I mean really, don't send a blogger to do a poet's job). From the base, you can easily hike a nature trail or ride a bike path up 2,300 ft. to the top of Mt. Alyeska, or take the scenic Aerial Tram. For the active and those who appreciate endless Alaskan views, Alyeska offers an unmatched view and mountain experience. Alyeska resort offers 1,400 skiable acres, 73 named trails and over 650″ of snow annually. Whether you are just starting out or looking to challenge yourself, you can find it at Alyeska.
We may be a little biased here since Tahoe is in our backyard, but when you host an ongoing photography contest pretty much based around your view, and your tag-line is "Tahoe's most beautiful view;" you'd expect Homewood to be near the top of almost everyone's view list. Actually, any view of Tahoe will demand attention, but Homewood which is located south of Tahoe City in the town of Homewood, precisely on the western shore of Lake Tahoe, certainly has some of the most beautiful views of the lake. Homewood resort has a top elevation of 2402m, with an area of 1260 acres devoted to sport enthusiast; the resort is a perfect place for snow lovers of all types and levels. Homewood is the only Tahoe resort that is directly adjacent to the west coast, so the view spans directly across the lake, creating views that are nothing less than beautiful and amazing (I've had some well spent time staring out at that lake shaking off long work weeks)...and sprinkle down the average snowfall of 480+ inches, and you've got yourself an unforgettable ski vacation courtesy of Homewood ski resort.