What many people don’t realize when they first come here for the winter season is that Sun Peaks, B.C. isn’t just a ski resort town filled with people powder skiing and partying, but a vibrant year-round community with its own heart, soul and loud pulse of people working extremely hard to make it a success. Residents spend 12 months a year, running their businesses, governing the community, raising their children and striving to give the tourists who visit us that “Wow, this place is amazing, I can hardly wait to come back” feeling. This “wow” factor sets us apart from other resort communities and it all starts with the people on the ground including all the fresh off the boat, plane or bus “new locals.”
When I first clicked into my skis at the bottom of the Burfield Chair 23 years ago at a little known place called Tod Mountain I was warmly welcomed by a group of locals called “Toddies.” They were so friendly, kind and hospitable to those who ventured to their hard-to-find, off-the-grid ski hill that they made everyone feel like family.
While Sun Peaks has now developed into a bustling year-round resort town with 500 permanent residents, 7,500 bed units and its own municipal government, the feeling most people get from this place is the same as it was decades ago. Sun Peaks is known for, and has actually won awards for, its friendly locals and has that at home feel that visitors the world over crave to experience on their holidays. It’s the reason tourists come back time and time again and it’s the same reason I ended up staying so many years ago.
So, if you’re new to town there are a few things to remember so you too can become one of those locals who truly make a difference in your new town.
First, remember that without the tourists coming here to play, none of us would be able to work or live here. Greet people with a big smile and treat them as you’d want to be treated while on holiday. After all it’s up to all of us to set the “wow” factor level for those who choose Sun Peaks as their holiday destination and it all starts one person at a time.
Lastly please remember that being a Sun Peaks local gives you one special privilege—making a positive difference to those around you in this place you now call home.