Big White misses American Thanksgiving: Big year ahead for visitors

With snowfall accumlations not quite enough to open yet, resort aims for Dec. 3 with plenty of bookings for the year already

Snow accumulations at Big White were not enough to open for the American Thanksgiving weekend. The resort is now slated to open Dec. 3.

Big White may have had to push back its opening date after a lack of snow last weekend, but that hasn’t dampened the spirits of the resort, which has already had record accommodation bookings for part of the year ahead.

Big White announced earlier this week it was pushing its opening date back to Dec. 3 after an anticipated snowfall last weekend never showed up. However, bookings into resort hotels have been brisk leading up to this season and it’s expected to be a busy year at the resort, once it opens.

“Our policy is to open as soon as snow permits,” said Michael Ballingall, Big White senior vice-president.

“We are expecting storms this weekend and we will re-evaluate on Monday.”

While the snow situation remains up in the clouds, the resort is forecasting a big year even though it wasn’t able to open for this weekend’s American Thanksgiving holiday. Big White is already fully booked over Christmas and New Year’s while other popular holiday weekends are closing in on 90 per cent capacity.

“We’re going to have more people this year than ever,” said Ballingall.

“It’s not just Big White, all of B.C. is on a roll. Tourism is on a roll and Big White is in a good position to capitalize.”

Ballingall said the low Canadian dollar is helping to attract American tourists and direct flights from Toronto each week on either WestJet or Air Canada is allowing easy connections from across Canada and further abroad. Big White traditionally aims to open for the American Thanksgiving and this year’s early snowfall looked like it was going to be able to welcome tourists.

However, warmer weather melted a lot of that snow.

But grooming of some runs has begun with snowfall this week bringing the base to 50 centimetres as of Thursday morning.

Find more about Big White conditions at bigwhite.com.

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