Sun Peaks Resort opened one day earlier than originally planned on Friday, Nov. 20 due to better-than-expected snow conditions. The resort received over 35 centimeters during the week, prompting organizers to change the date and open with a 75 centimetre alpine base. Three lifts and 41 ski runs were open with an additional four lifts opened on Saturday, including on Mt. Morrisey and Sundance Mountain, and a total of 65 runs. The Nordic trails also opened early on Nov. 20.
Over 5,500 skiers and riders enjoyed the snow from Friday to Sunday, which is one of the highest numbers for opening in recent years, according to Aidan Kelly, marketing director for the resort.
“There were a lot of smiles and a lot of pumped looking people. The opening brought up a lot of energy for our season pass holders and locals, which is mainly who is around for opening day. The destination guests aren’t really coming yet.”
Kelly attributed the strong numbers to both the amount of terrain available and open, as well as due to some pent up of demand as a result of last year’s less-than-awesome season.
“People were chomping at the bit to get out there,” he said.
Lift tickets were sold at 25 per cent off.
“It was a pretty good weekend with 65 runs and all three mountains open which is rare for opening. I think it bodes well for the rest of the season, especially with the snow that we are receiving right now.”
The week following opening was forecast to have over 20 cm of snow followed by a short clear and cold spell.
Opening day also saw many new staff get on the mountain for the first time, including Gemma Van from Melbourne, Australia.
“Perfect. Perfect weather,” she said. “I even got to take a ride break and everyone was happy who came through the lift line.”