Some children are all smiles as they head down the hill at Tube Town. Silver Mountain Resort has experienced steady crowds over the winter.

Some children are all smiles as they head down the hill at Tube Town. Silver Mountain Resort has experienced steady crowds over the winter.

Resorts bustle with visitors

Ski resorts in the Thompson-Okanagan are experiencing a record-breaking season

Tourism is getting a boost this winter.

Ski resorts in the Thompson-Okanagan are experiencing a record-breaking season due to snow conditions and increased tourist visitations, including from Ontario, New Zealand and Australia.

“A big draw for Australians is the resort’s Family Snowsports Academy,” said Moragh MacAulay, with Silver Star Mountain Resort.

“We get young racers, skiers and snowboarders. The parents take lessons and the kids do training at the Snowsports school.”

As of press time, Silver Star had a snow base of 163 centimetres.

Along with a variety of activities and considerable snow, regional ski resorts are benefitting from the low Canadian dollar.

“Increased visits from the U.S. have driven more than just Christmas numbers,” said Christopher Nicolson, president of Sun Peaks Resort near Kamloops.

“A significant rise in Presidents’ Week vacationers has boosted February bookings by 16 per cent.”

The number of visitors making their way to the Okanagan has also impacted Kelowna International Airport.

A total of 150,491 passengers travelled through the airport in December, making it the busiest December to date with an increase of 3.5 per cent in visitors from 2014.