New groomers welcomed to fleet

Sunburst Lodge renovations have been a focus of SPR this summer.
| Photo SPIN

Two shiny new Pisten Bully 400 groomers will be smoothing the slopes this winter after they replace two aging models in Sun Peaks’ fleet. The machines, which together cost over $900,000, are one part of a multitude of upgrades around the resort this winter.

Since spring crews have been working on renovations and expansions to the Sunburst Lodge and Bento’s Day Lodge.

The multi-million dollar project was announced after one of the most successful seasons in resort history and aims to elevate the experience of all visitors.

Aidan Kelly, chief marketing officer for Sun Peaks Resort LLP (SPR), said he is personally most excited about the overdue upgrades.

“It’s a major project that benefits destination visitors and locals,” he said. “I’m really happy, ever since I got to Sun Peaks I’ve thought it’s something we really needed.”

He said the projects are still on track for completion by opening weekend in mid-November and new head chef Hans Stierli is working hard on a complete culinary overhaul.

Part of the Bento’s renovations included the Ski Patrol Clinic relocating to the new Health Centre space. The move, which started in September, will be completed during the off season to be ready for opening day.

Workers have also been busy clearing trees on the mountain as part of the forest health program. This year the program is focused on the lower area of the Crystal chairlift. Kelly said while the program’s intention is to clear beetle kill or dangerous trees, it will likely provide guests with new gladed areas to explore.

“It’s not the focus but it’s a benefit,” he said. “We try to do it in a way that improves
the zone.”

Other trail repairs are being completed on Sundance Mountain before winter after spring flooding washed away some areas and wore culverts.

Work will also be completed on Mt. Morrisey where a small landslide damaged
Agitator run.

Kelly said work was challenging to complete this summer because workers and equipment were engaged fighting fires across the province and increased summer visitor numbers meant balancing completing work and ensuring a positive guest experience.