Skier visits up 12 per cent from last year
The B.C. Family Day weekend saw increased visitors coming to Sun Peaks. According to the tourism association and the resort company, accommodations were nearly full and skier visits also increased.
Skier visits were up a combined 19 per cent on Friday, Saturday and Monday compared to the holiday weekend last year. Visits were up 12 per cent throughout the entire weekend, with stagnant numbers on Sunday, which were likely a result of the Super Bowl, according to Aidan Kelly, sales and marketing director for Sun Peaks Resort LLP.
“We’re really happy to have this long weekend for B.C. families on the calendar and hope to see it stick around in its current format for years to come,” Kelly said.
“Restaurants, hotels and businesses throughout the village seemed to be pretty busy and happy.”
Accommodators in Sun Peaks were nearly at capacity. Final totals were not available at print time, but initial indications put resort occupancy over 95 per cent.
“If you looked at where we are this year compared to where we were in 2012, which was the year before the B.C. family weekend started, the weekend occupancies would have been under 70 per cent and you’re looking at this year and it’s over 95 per cent,” said Christopher Nicolson, president of Tourism Sun Peaks.
Walking through the village and in lift lines there was a noticeable increase in the number of people throughout the resort during the weekend.
“It was crazy busy. It was probably the most busy we’ve been since we first opened (in December),” said Bailey Hunt, staff representative at The Candy Vault. “It was person, after person, after person all day. It was a lot of kids and families, it was really cool.”
The mountain resort industry throughout B.C. is working to establish a tradition of skiing and snowboarding on the newest holiday weekend. Twenty-six resorts throughout the province, including Sun Peaks, offered a 50 per cent discount on lift tickets on B.C. Family Day.
“That’s an example of how the resort industry has embraced it,” Nicolson said. “When I was riding lifts (Monday) there were lots of locals that were up here and taking advantage of that.”