Bike park saw significant growth this summer

Sun Peaks’ bike park saw big growth this season. Photo Adam Stein

Despite cooler weather and the now-traditional rain for outdoor concerts, Sun Peaks saw a rise in room nights and mountain biking over the summer.

Aidan Kelly, chief marketing officer for Sun Peaks Resort LLP (SPR), said the summer was great, especially due to the lack of wildfire smoke.

“The rain had a bit of an impact on hiking and golf activities, but nothing of significance. The rain actually helps things quite a bit on the mountain biking side, and that’s where we had a very positive season.”

Kelly added mountain biking was a big focus of SPR’s marketing and positioning for the season and it paid off.

“The marketplace awareness grew significantly due to our tactics, product, and also word of mouth due to the positive experience many folks were having in the bike park,” he said. “Overall we saw close to 70 per cent growth in mountain bike visitation for summer 2019 and we expect to see another jump again next summer.”

Tourism Sun Peaks (TSP) also tracked a strong summer of visitors.

From May to the end of September enough guests came to the community to make it the second busiest summer ever, only after the summer of 2017.

Arlene Schieven, chief executive officer of TSP, said May, July and August were especially strong while June and September saw slight declines. As of Oct. 17, October was also tracking up over the previous year.

“September’s weather was not ideal…But the last couple weeks of September are tracking ahead and better than it would have been without the bonus weekends,” she said.
Schieven added having two smoky summers in a row can impact bookings as people wait to see what the weather will be like instead of planning far in advance.

Despite challenges with weather, Retro Weekend remained one of the most popular events and the Family Weeks events continued to grow and evolve in their third year.

“We also tried some new events like the circus, slacklining and the night markets. It really did help with ambiance and giving a sense of vibrancy. We also, with the municipality, added the second games area which was always busy.”

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