Whistler Blackcomb recently announced that the resort seen more skiers in the first part of the season than it ever has to date. That fact might have as much to do with economic forces as forces of nature: the strength of the U.S. dollar is making Canadian ski trips relative bargains compared to most years. And resorts and tourism agencies are making sure everyone knows it.
The U.S. dollar started surging last summer as the Canadian dollar took a dive. That difference has meant a winter where one U.S. dollar was at one point worth nearly 1.5 Canadian dollars, effectively giving a 50 percent discount to vacationers who acted fast. That rate has now fallen to about 1.34 Canadian dollars, but when you're talking about lift tickets, food and lodging, traveling up north can still be a discount for many American skiers and riders.
Whether it's Revelstoke, Golden or Banff, plenty of Canadian tourism hotspots are benefitting from the currency imbalance, even if a weak "loonie" is cause for concern across Canada's other economic sectors.
For American skiers who still haven't made their reservations, however, they might want to act sooner than later. The divergence between the two currencies has closed since January, and while only months ago there were warnings of an even weaker loonie, analysts are now starting to predict the end of the Canadian dollar's slide.
Who's to say which side of the currency debate will prove correct by summer. But that really doesn't matter for skiers looking to get in discounted powder laps now.
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