Busy July breaks records

Colin James performed to packed audience once again this summer. Photo courtesy Tourism Sun Peaks.
Colin James performed to packed audience once again this summer. Photo courtesy Tourism Sun Peaks.

Sun Peaks recorded its busiest July ever this summer, with a 20 per cent increase in room nights from last year, and early indications show August may also outpace previous years once final numbers are tallied.

A total of 8,735 room nights were booked in July, up from 7,300 in 2014 and around 7,200 in 2013 and 2012.

Christopher Nicolson, president of Tourism Sun Peaks (TSP), said he was “really happy” with the July figures, and said there was an overall increase across all sectors.

“I think Sun Peaks is one of the destinations in B.C. that has definitely attracted a lot more traffic this year, and the way August is pacing, I think it will be similar to July, with some good advances over last year,” Nicolson said. “It’s been very exciting.”

Nicolson said the increase in visitor numbers was coming from a variety of categories.

“We’re not seeing an increase from just one sector, we’re seeing strong event pickup, we’re seeing more midweek pickup, and we’re seeing more weddings. It’s a variety of sectors, across seven days a week.”

Nicolson believed the increase in visitor numbers was also delivering benefits to other areas in the village, including restaurants and retail.

“Our best measure is room nights, but feedback from businesses, while it does vary from business to business, I think most businesses in July have had an increase.”

Nicolson said it was evidence the strategies being implemented to drive visitors to Sun Peaks, such as the event weekends, were
proving successful.

“Part of the success of event weekends is generating excitement and awareness about Sun Peaks beyond the events — whether people are talking about weddings or where to host a family reunion or a place to go for a weekend getaway.”

Nicolson said local hotels were also driving business, with increases to group tours and bus tours to Sun Peaks.

“International tour operators are an important part of Sun Peaks’ summer. There’s an increasing number of multi-night stays from this segment.”
While the primary markets are Australia, the UK, Germany, Europe and America, Nicolson said the resort had also seen visitors from Holland, Israel and Spain this summer.

There has also been an increase in local overnight visitors from Kamloops, the Okanagan, the Lower Mainland and Alberta.

Good weather and a lack of forest fires in the area were also factors in driving visitors to Sun Peaks.