No Passport, No Problem for US Skiers Coming to Canada



    Despite new passport legislation, US travel to select Canadian Ski
    Resorts is up 57%.

    VANCOUVER, Jan. 31 /CNW/ - The line-ups at the passport offices are not
the only line-ups that you'll see this winter. With record-breaking snowfall
and price friendly accommodation-and-airfare packages, US citizens looking for
the best skiing in the world are lining up to get to Canadian resorts this
season. This is despite the fact that the air portion of the United States'
Western Hemisphere Initiative went into effect on January 23, 2007, requiring
that everyone flying to and from the United States - including Canadians -
have a valid passport or NEXUS Air Card.
    Companies such as Intrawest ULC, owners of Canadian mountain destination
resorts such as Whistler Blackcomb, Panorama Mountain Village, and Tremblant,
have been pleasantly surprised by the increase in visits from the U.S. this
season, explains Erik Austin - Vice-President of Intrawest Central
Reservations.
    "Knowing that the passport legislation was coming into effect this year,
we were busy putting plans into place to educate U.S. customers about their
new travel requirements," Austin says. "What's been very positive is that
travel reservations from the U.S. are up a staggering +57% for the year.
Americans are definitely aware of the new passport legislation, and it has not
been an obstacle in preventing our U.S. guests from making it to Canada to
enjoy the incredible season."
    Austin sites this year's snow conditions as a big factor. Weather
conditions this year have produced record-setting snowfalls in Western Canada,
headlined by a 9.5-metre or 31-foot snowfall at Whistler Blackcomb, British
Columbia. As well, a recent sharp turn in the favour of snowmaking conditions
in Eastern Canada has benefited resorts such as Tremblant in Quebec, a resort
that now boasts the most open terrain in Eastern North America.
    "The story for Americans and Canadians is great," continues Austin.
"We're experiencing record-snow conditions north of the border and robust
travel bookings to our Canadian resorts like Whistler Blackcomb this season.
We've been extremely lucky compared to other resorts like those throughout
Europe. We've been very blessed to have the best snow arguably anywhere in the
world. People are coming from Canada, the U.S., and across the world to enjoy
it."
    But Austin recommends skiers book their travel quickly to guarantee their
lodging reservations due to the increased demand. Though availability in the
month of March looks optimistic, accommodation vacancy already is limited
during peak February periods at resorts such as Whistler Blackcomb, Panorama
Mountain Village, Blue Mountain, and Tremblant. "The remaining accommodation
is filling up pretty fast, so I would book now to enjoy the great conditions."

    About Intrawest Corporation
    Intrawest ULC is a world leader in experiential destination resort. It
has interests in ten resorts at North America's most popular mountain
destinations, including Whistler Blackcomb, a host venue for the 2010 Winter
Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Intrawest network also includes Canadian
Mountain Holidays, the largest heli-skiing operation in the world, Sandestin
Golf and Beach Resort in Florida and Club Intrawest - a private resort club
with nine locations throughout North America. In addition, Intrawest develops
real estate at its resorts and at other locations across North America and in
Europe. Intrawest is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. For more
information, visit www.intrawest.com.





For further information:

For further information: David Le, Director, Public Relations -
INTRAWEST ULC, Suite 710 - 375 Water Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 5C6, Direct:
(604) 639-4337, Email: dle@intrawest.com

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INTRAWEST ULC

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