Early spring conditions resulted in a quieter than usual March period in Sun Peaks, but solid attendance for events like the Dew Tour AM Series and the Easter holiday weekend helped to make the most out of an unusual winter season.
Christopher Nicolson, president of Tourism Sun Peaks, said the year had been pacing well, and said he estimated around a three per cent increase in accommodation bookings compared to last year.
“It was certainly a very, very strong year up until the end of February. February was great, and was around seven per cent ahead of last year,” Nicholson said.
“March paced similarly to last year, but the difference was there was no March pick-up. That is, everyone who booked accommodation before March 1 still came to Sun Peaks, but there were very few new bookings made in March.”
The result was a seven per cent drop in accommodation bookings in March compared to last season.
The early onset of spring conditions was a strong factor against visitors booking trips to Sun Peaks.
“We’re trying to market against human nature. With the warm days in Kamloops, people are talking about biking and hiking and golfing, and they’re just as passionate about those summer activities as they are in November when they start thinking about winter. It’s a social shift.”
Events like the Dew Tour AM Series have helped Sun Peaks to remain on the map for outside visitors in March.
“We’re very fortunate to have events like (the Dew Tour AM Series), because they helped to drive the traffic that we did have,” Nicholson said.
Easter weekend was also given a boost, with around 100 children and their families joining the Easter Bunny and Harry Bear for an Easter egg hunt along 5 Mile. An 11 centimetre snowfall on Good Friday also gave visitors and locals a strong end to the season.