After watching the growth of resorts like Sun Peaks and Whistler Blackcomb, a task force has formed at Silver Star Mountain near Vernon, B.C. to research the creation of a resort association.
Resort associations are groups composed of resort landowners and stakeholders who pool funds to promote and encourage the development, operation and maintenance of a resort area.
Sun Peaks’ destination marketing organization, Tourism Sun Peaks, was founded in 1996 and Whistler’s in 1979. They have been credited with much of the success of both resorts by increasing visitor numbers and making both destinations more attractive year round.
Don Kassa, co-chair of the Silver Star Marketing Task Force, said community members saw Sun Peaks was “leaps and bounds ahead,” and set out to see what Silver Star could learn to improve their own destination.
“Sun Peaks has the nicest village,” Kassa said. “We’d like to take a page out of your book and become a more eminent resort.”
Kassa, who has lived at or near Silver Star his entire life, said while he doesn’t think the community is ready to become a resort municipality, he does believe a resort association would help push the area into the spotlight.
The task force has completed their research and held public meetings. The next step is to have the association ratified by the regional district before going to the petition process with the provincial government.
“I support the resort association because we are competing globally for skier visits,” Kassa said. “In anything, community is paramount.”