Big White has now officially closed for the 16/17 winter season. Thanks to the support of Big White’s Season Passholders, visitors, and local community, this has been Big White’s biggest season to date – including record snowfalls, new events and exciting resort developments. Please click here to watch our season wrap-up video.
On November 30th, Big White Ski Resort started the season with its earliest mid-week opening in resort history. In December, as attention turned towards Christmas, nearly 2000 guests gathered to watch Big White light up the village for Light Up, followed by Big Reds wine festival, a celebration of over 50 handcrafted wines and winemakers from the Okanagan region.
As the temperatures dropped and the snow continued to fall, Big White’s mountain operations team worked hard to ensure the hill and the resort stayed in pristine condition, grooming a total of 10,500 machine hours and going through 50,200 litres of fuel.
It was a great season for snow, with 300cm of snowfall in the month of March alone resulting in a season-end snow base of over three metres – or 3,508,535,525,880,000 snowflakes deep! The season saw a cumulative total of 939cm.
With all that snow, guests enjoyed a total of 2,424,300 runs, while the Big White Ski & Board School introduced 3048 visitors to skiing and snowboarding for the first time ever. In fact, Big White issued season’s passes to 48 guests over the age of 80, with the oldest Season Passholder signing up at age 89!
In the park, shredders of all skill levels flocked to TELUS Park, hitting the features a total of 336,000 times while enjoying the tunes from its new, state-of-the-art sound system. In February, TELUS Park was also proud to host over 80 inspiring athletes from more than 25 countries for the 2017 World Para Snowboard Championships – a qualifying competition for the 2018 Winter Paralympics in South Korea.
Down in Happy Valley Day Lodge, the kitchen went through over 51,000 lbs of French fries, 9800 lbs of chicken, and 12,000 burgers, while the skillets cooked nearly 24,000 eggs and the Kettle Valley Steakhouse carved 350 50oz. Tomahawk steaks. In the Black Forest Day Lodge, vegetarian guests enjoyed 2130 meat-free lunches and 822 Black Bean burgers.
In Big White’s Adventure Park, young ones (and those young at heart) slid down the Tube Park’s Snowcoaster a total of 103,371 times and looked up every Saturday night to a total of 2832 fireworks detonated into the starry night sky.
Big White Ski Resort was proud to host visitors from far and wide, transporting a total of 22,650 guests from Kelowna International Airport (YLW) on the Airport Shuttle and moving more than 45,000 pieces of luggage. Our Central Reservations team was always on call to help, answering 38,189 calls throughout the season.
Big White was also thrilled to host so many local guests, including families from across BC for Family Channel Family Day Weekend and Kelowna’s LGBTQ2+ community for Big White’s first ever pride parade during Peak Pride 2017!
But perhaps one of the best memories from this season was a surprising spring visit from Big White’s resident lynx, casually strolling across Millie’s Mile, to the astonishment to skiers flying by. In fact, this little cat found fame on Facebook, starring in a viral video posted to the Big White Ski Resort Facebook page that accumulated over 1.8 million views from fans worldwide!
As Big White wraps up another fun-filled season, the focus now turns to Big White’s summer season. Hiking in the alpine, scenic chairlift rides and family-friendly events kick off on June 23. Bike Big White is also set to launch this summer, with an opening date soon to be announced. For details, check out bigwhite.com and bikebigwhite.com.