More Canadians are hitting the slopes

If you’re planning to shred some pow’ over the holidays, chances are you’ll have a lot of company. 

Driving the news: Canada’s ski hills and resorts are gearing up for what could be a record-setting winter. The Canadian Ski Council claims that sales of early season ski passes are up 20% on the year so far, spelling a potential record number of visitors. 

  • Last year, Canadian ski hills saw 18.6 million visits—a 13% spike from the previous year and the best year-over-year increase seen in over 20 years. All the while, 335,000 skiers and snowboarders decided to hit the slopes for the very first time. 

Canada’s biggest ski resorts are feeling optimistic too... 

Top spots for Canadian skiing like Lake Louise and Blue Mountain are upgrading facilities, adding things like new liftseasier routes (for the surge of newbies), and, in the case of Boler Mountain, a high-tech snow-making machine to better prepare for a busy season.

  • Sales of season passes for Vail Resorts (the owner of Whistler Blackcomb, the biggest ski resort in North America) are up ~86% compared to three years ago. 

Why it matters: Consumers may be cutting back spending in some areas as they grapple with the rising cost of living, but they’re still showing a penchant for spending on events and activities to make up for the time spent cooped up inside during the height of the pandemic. 

Despite its high costs, skiing is delivering on that desire for experience-based purchases, with people more than happy to further fuel Canada’s already ~$4 billion snowsports sector.