Whistler Blackcomb tallies highest year-to-date skier visits in company history 

Company announces $8 million in capital investments

  • Photo by Paul Morrison / Courtesy of Whistler Blackcomb

The numbers have sealed it: Whistler Blackcomb is enjoying a record-breaking season so far.

During its quarterly report on Wednesday, Feb. 10, Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. counted 1.14 million total visits for the year, the highest year-to-date visits in the company’s history and a 21-per-cent increase over the same period last year.

"We are very pleased with our first quarter performance. Increased guest visitation from both our regional and destination markets combined with strong spending in our ancillary businesses contributed to our record financial results,” said Whistler Blackcomb president Dave Brownlie in a release.

“Since December 31, 2015, our strong visitation momentum has continued and I am pleased to report that we have welcomed the highest total visits in our history for the year to date period."

In the three months ended Dec. 31, 2015, the resort recorded 502,000 total skier visits, up 23.3 per cent over the same period last year. The jump was attributed to “improved visitation over the Christmas holiday period and strong early season momentum.”

Destination skiers made up approximately a third of skier visits for the first quarter of the fiscal year, compared to 38 per cent over the same span in 2014. Total skier visits to date were made up of an estimated 58 per cent regional visitors and 42 per cent destination guests, compared to 56 per cent and 44 per cent, respectively.

Total revenue for the quarter increased 22.1 per cent to $66.7 million. Revenue per visit saw a slight downturn to $122.59 from $123.90, reflecting “lower spending per visit in the Company's retail, rental and snow school businesses principally as a result of the strong growth in regional visitation, as regional guests typically spend less on a per visit basis than destination guests,” according to the report.

Adjusted EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) hit $17.2 million for the quarter, a 68-per-cent hike over last year’s first quarter.

Whistler Blackcomb built on its strong momentum with the announcement of $8 million in capital investment, which includes:

-Upgrades to and expansion of the Garibaldi Lift Company and the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain.

-Upgrades and enhancements to ski and snowboard learning terrain and infrastructure on Whistler Mountain.

-The addition of summer hiking trails and infrastructure to go along with the construction of a new glacier-view sightseeing deck connected to the Roundhouse Lodge.

Brownlie said the growth projects announced “highlight our continued focus on our long-term strategy of upgrading and expanding our on-mountain facilities and infrastructure, expanding our non-ski business and executing on other strategic investments.”

For more information, visit www.whistlerblackcomb.com/holdings.

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