Like any resort-based community, the pulse of Sun Peaks is dependent upon people from around the globe coming to the community, enjoying themselves while here and upon leaving, telling their friends what a fabulous time they had.
They could be here for skiing, biking, a winter wine festival, a summer adventure race or just a weekend away. They could be here for a month, a week or just a day. We all know that word-of-mouth is huge when it comes to tourists picking travel destinations, and once tourists come to this quaint mountain town, they fall in love with the community, the people here, and the amount of things to do, and they want to come back. While this all sounds easy in print, it’s not, and all you need to do is ask anyone in tourism marketing how much time, money and effort is spent just getting people to even look at a website or an ad, let alone pick up the phone to book a two week vacation for the family.
With so many travel options out there it’s harder and harder each year to get people to make decisions on their final destination, unless they have a specific reason to go somewhere. While Sun Peaks offers all travellers a plethora of amazing reasons to make this community their specific holiday destination, it makes it much easier if that reason gives them no choice but to come here.
A perfect example of this is an event like the Spartan race series that came to town in the last week of September.
With early numbers like 4,000 to 5,000 racers being forecast by some, I was somewhat doubtful of the draw of this type of extreme adventure race, but boy was I wrong. Literally thousands of people travelled to Sun Peaks from far and wide to battle each other on the Spartan course (and unfortunately battle Mother Nature too) but that didn’t dampen any spirits. Many people I talked to at the event had never heard of Sun Peaks, let alone been here before, and they were only here because Spartan was here. They absolutely loved it and they want to come back.
It wasn’t so much that Sun Peaks was the standalone draw card as it is for many tourists who come here, as much as it was who was at the card table. Sun Peaks is now on the adventure racing map and this could just be the start. A large snowmobile festival in April, dirt bike races in October and maybe even an X-Games type event in the winter would all draw huge crowds in traditionally slower periods. While some in this community may want peace and quiet outside the peak winter periods, I say use every inch of stage we have. Sun Peaks has so much to offer so many varying interest groups, now is the time to open up our doors to them and have them bring their show to us.
Hats off to all the people involved in making the Spartan races happen as we have now shown a new side of this great community and have proven, hands down, that if you build it, they will come.