Whitefish Mountain Resort Closes Out Another Banner Year

Season pass holders and 410 inches of snowfall help resort record its best season yet

By Tristan Scott
Shane Marcial keeps his balance during the pond skim at Whitefish Mountain Resort on April 7, 2018. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Whitefish Mountain Resort closed out its season with another banner year, setting a new record with more than 382,000 total skier visits and besting its previous record set in 2016-17 by more than 35,500 total skier visits.

This year also marked a record for preseason winter season pass sales at the ski area on Big Mountain — up four percent over the previous season’s record year.

While the additional season pass holders helped top the skier visits records, Mother Nature also played a role, bringing storm after storm that delivered 410 inches of snowfall, the resort’s second best snowfall in 21 years behind 2007-08 when it recorded 426 inches. The settled base depth on April 8 (closing day) was 164 inches — the most on record in the last 21 years.

During the 123 days of Whitefish Mountain Resort’s season it snowed 80 days.

“We are extremely grateful to have such a dedicated community of season pass holders and loyal returning out-of-town guests. Additionally we continue to welcome a steady stream of first-time guests,” Whitefish Mountain Resort CEO Dan Graves said. “With the continued growth in skier visits, we will continue with our commitment to improving the guest experience while maintaining affordability as well as our exceptional, easy-going hospitality that encourages our guests to keep coming back.”

Even with skier visits up this season, Whitefish Mountain Resort management was pleased how the addition of East Rim/Chair 5 has helped to disperse guests in such a way to maintain the experience of un-crowded slopes.

Additionally Phase 1 of the Ed and Mully’s remodel played a role in the restaurant and bar having one of its best seasons yet. Phase 2 of the remodel will happen this summer and will give the interior a fresh new look including new finishes, lighting, fireplace, carpet and restroom upgrades. The kitchen will receive a new design and equipment.

In addition to skier visits, Whitefish Mountain Resort’s Ski and Ride School broke records in enrollment for seasonal programs most notably in the Buckaroos Program for three and four-year-olds. The Kids Center was also in record territory with growth in both out-of-town families and locals.

Season pass holders skied more than ever before in the 2017-18 season, surpassing last year’s total by nearly 70,000,000 feet and setting a new record of 2,098,833,477 feet. This marks only the second time reaching the milestone of two billion vertical feet. Local residents make up roughly half of the skiing population at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

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