Whistler Blackcomb’s Spring Powder Enjoyed Largely by Locals

Spring Powder enjoyed by Locals

Whistler Blackcomb’s spring powder was enjoyed largely by locals this season as the late snowfall did not attract Epic Pass skiers back to Whistler’s slopes.

Vail Resorts reported that skier visits were down, but revenues were up during the 2023-24 winter season, according to a company report comparing ski season metrics year-over-year through mid-April.

“Given the unfavorable conditions across our North American resorts for a large portion of the season, we are pleased with our overall results as the 2023/2024 North American ski season nears completion, highlighting the stability provided by our season pass program and the investments we have made in our resorts and employees,” stated Vail Resorts CEO Kirsten Lynch. “Although visitation declined, our lift revenue increased, driven by the growth in pass sales committed ahead of the season.”

Even with the late snow, however, performance was uneven from resort to resort.

“Pass product visitation returned as expected to normal historical guest behavior for the spring. However, lift ticket visitation did not return to normal historical guest behavior, primarily at Whistler Blackcomb, which was down significantly relative to the prior year period,” Lynch said, noting that conditions did not improve until early March at Whistler Blackcomb and VR’s Tahoe resorts. “When conditions improved, visitation at our Tahoe resorts responded as expected, however visitation at Whistler Blackcomb remained below expectations,” she said.

This has been a boon for Whistler locals and their favourite powder stashes! The Epic Pass and other factors have led to significant increases in skier numbers over the past decade. Whistler continues to grow in popularity with the international ski tourism crowd, especially following many of the events of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. However, this congestion is disheartening for area locals who remember the resort in the quieter days before it became overly crowded.

Ski Magazine’s 2024 Resort Guide ranked Whistler Blackcomb No. 21 in the West, marking a significant drop from its previous string of No. 1 ratings in travel and ski magazines. The voters’ poor impression was based on perceptions that Whistler is too crowded, too expensive, and delivers poor customer service.

Perhaps next season, the powder will again be enjoyed by locals if Whistler Blackcomb’s crowds continue to decline. Who knows, maybe I’ll return after more than a decade of avoiding the Whistler crowds.