Willie Mitchell (left)

Silver Star experiences upswing in activity

Huge crowds are taking advantage of the fresh powder at Silver Star.

Huge crowds are taking advantage of the fresh powder at Silver Star.

About 4,000 to 5,000 people a day have been visiting the resort over the Christmas holiday.

“We are having a busier year over this time last year,” said Robin Baycroft, resort services manager.

Hotel bookings are up 15 per cent, and many of the rooms are being occupied by Lower Mainland residents, Australians, Europeans and even Brazilians.

But one traditional source of guests remains soft.

“The American market is slowly rebounding,” said Baycroft.

There are a number of reasons for the increased  activity but the main factor appears to be snow.

“The snow conditions are excellent,” said Baycroft of the 176-centimetre alpine base.

“It’s an incredible amount of snow.”

Baycroft also believes a draw for people has been the introduction of Canada’s first all-inclusive pass.

Besides downhill skiing, the pass provides access to nordic trails, the Tube Town Adventure Park, skating at Brewer’s Pond and self-guided snowshoe tours.

“It’s given us an edge in the marketplace,” said Baycroft.

The culmination of holiday festivities at Silver Star will be New Year’s Eve Monday.

Activities get underway at 8 p.m. with a kids’ glow stick parade. That will be followed by an adult torchlight parade and fireworks wrapping up at about 9 p.m.

“We encourage families to come up from Vernon to enjoy the fireworks,” said Baycroft.

But precautions are being taken to ensure the celebrations are safe.

“It’s a family-oriented event and we don’t tolerate open alcohol,” said Baycroft, adding that RCMP will be in the village and there will be road checks on Silver Star Road.

Silver Star accommodations are 100 per cent booked for New Year’s Eve.



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