Sun Peaks Resort LLP (SPR) has announced a major mountain bike expansion coming this summer to diversify the area’s trail network and bring riding to all three mountains.
The $1.5 million investment, funded by SPR and the community as well as through provincial grants, promises chairlift access on Sundance Mountain and six new trails. The developments will include two black trails (advanced), two blue trails (intermediate) and two green trails (novice), totaling 19 kilometres.
Aidan Kelly, SPR’s chief marketing officer, said SPR was one of the first ski resorts to provide lift access biking in Canada and has renewed its focus on creating world-class trails in the past few years.
“Before, having a bike park was just something to try and help keep the lights on over the summer until you got back to your core business of winter,” Kelly said. “Then we discovered that there’s a really good, viable market there.”
The expansion to Sundance Mountain will be ready for use when the bike park opens on June 17, 2022. By mid-summer, Sun Peaks Recreational Trail Association’s (SPRTA) development on Mt. Morrisey will also be set to open.
Mt. Morrisey will see a total of 12 kilometres of climb and downhill trails added. These trails were supposed to be finished last summer, but were not completed before the end of the season due to the wildfires.
Funding for these projects came in part from Targeted Regional Tourism Development Initiative, provided by the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association in partnership with the provincial government. SPRTA also received $297,875 in funding from the province’s Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program, and a $150,000 contribution from Tourism Sun Peaks.
Christina Antoniak, SPR’s director of communications, said expanding the bike park is beneficial for both the resort and local businesses from a tourism perspective.
“Mountain biking has become a really desirable and sought-after outdoor activity,” Antoniak said. “There’s so much opportunity in that space as a tourism activity and we wanted to be a part of that going forward.”
Antoniak said it was also important for SPR to create more beginner-friendly terrain. When the Sun Peaks bike park first opened, Antoniak said using the natural terrain on Mt. Tod as much as possible meant trails were raw and rugged for more advanced bikers.
“We wanted to be able to compete with other bike parks that had that beginner/intermediate product, while also maintaining the trails that we’re very well known for,” Antoniak said. “Rounding out of the product does allow us to tap into those other audiences. Previous to having these new trails, there wasn’t an experience for [beginner bikers] at Sun Peaks.”
Moving forward, the resort plans to develop single-track technical trails, as well as cross country and enduro style pedal access trails. For now, Kelly said they are focused on making this summer a success.
“The last couple years, it’s been a bit of a roller coaster up and down — a couple of steps forward and a couple of steps back from a business perspective,” Kelly said. “We’re hoping that everything’s going to kind of smooth out as we roll through the spring.”
Bike park season passes for individuals and families are now on sale. For more information, visit sunpeaksresort.com/bike.