Resort occupancy numbers remain stable

Snowbombing festival goers taking in Odesza’s set. Photo SPIN.

After a record breaking 2016 winter season accommodation numbers for the 2017 season stayed flat.

Tourism Sun Peaks (TSP) president Arlene Schieven said last year’s 15 per cent increase in room nights sold stayed steady with a strong start to the 2017 season in November and increases in January and March.

Schieven said April saw a small decrease due to less room nights sold for the Coors Light Snowbombing Canada festival.

“The winter overall was really successful,” she said. “It was cold over the holidays but other activities were popular and it was overall still positive.”

In a survey completed by TSP two thirds of resort businesses said this season was better than the last, especially with large events like the HUB International Nancy Green Festival. The 21st Annual Sun Peaks Okanagan Winter Wine Festival also grew and drew large amounts of people with more sold out events than ever before.

Looking toward the summer TSP hopes to surpass the 10 per cent increase seen in room nights last summer, despite an expected decrease in tour bus traffic.

“With changing tours we’re not always on their path,” she said. “We’re comparing to a record year.”

Marketing programs launched in May aim to promote summer activities. Events are planned for a second weekend of Canada Day festivities this year. Big Sugar will also headline on June 30 and another concert weekend later in the summer is being planned.

Schieven said Retro Weekend also draws large crowds booking rooms as does the Alpine Blossom Festival.

“We just hope to continue the momentum from last year.