Hot temps, hot numbers

Madison Erhardt

It's been a long time since the Okanagan has seen solid sunshine and hot temperatures for an entire May long weekend. Although it may have felt like we broke records, Environment Canada says otherwise. 

"It was a pretty stellar weekend, but we didn't break any records. From a subjective view, living in Kelowna for almost 20 years, it was a really great weekend. Temperatures were in the mid 20s, and the typical end of May to June rain hasn't started yet," said meteorologist Doug Lunquist.

Business around the valley was strong compared to previous months.

"I think what happened for the May long weekend and this gorgeous weather is that it's solidified that great start to the season, and it's giving visitors the confidence and the assurance of the great conditions we have here for them, said Lisanne Ballantyne, president and CEO of Tourism Kelowna.

Comparing the first quarters of this year and last, numbers are up by more than 4.5 per cent for hotel occupancy, she said.

"That was before the smoke and the fires even started. We are projecting to get about two million visitors into the Kelowna area over 2018.

"Annually, that equates to $1.25 billion in economic output," Ballantyne added.

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