Let the summer party begin

As with any ski area or ski resort town that offers year round happenings, getting tourists to ski resorts during the summer has always been a challenge.

As the snow slowly melts after a great winter season and the greens of summer emerge from hibernation a buzz is growing around Sun Peaks Resort as to what lays ahead for the 2012 summer season.

As with any ski area or ski resort town that offers year round happenings, getting tourists to ski resorts during the summer has always been a challenge. That challenge has just become a much smaller hurdle due to summer event funding provided by the provincial government through the Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM).

When the municipality was formed several years ago one of its first steps was to source funding to drive more summer, or off-season, traffic to Sun Peaks. The summer ahead looks like a home run. With 35 events planned between June 30 and Sept. 29, Sun Peaks will see a 100 per cent increase in summer events this year for tourists and locals alike.

With a $300,000 boost from SPMRM, Tourism Sun Peaks (TSP) has now embarked on a mission to make Canada’s Alpine Village a destination for summer travellers. New to the event lineup this summer are several large outdoor concerts, a Beer and Scotch festival dubbed HopScotch, a Women’s Wellness Weekend and a full blown Oktoberfest just to name a few. Recently announced was a free outdoor concert by Hollywood superstar Kevin Costner and his band Modern West to be held July 7. Rumour has it that guests can pay extra to meet the silver screen legend in person.

TSP president Christopher Nicolson views the many new events this summer as a way to “woo” new guests and first time locals to the resort.

“Events offer a specific reason to come to Sun Peaks (during the summer months). Most people that visit in summer have an exceptional experience and return,” said Nicolson. “The scented air, the vibrant colours, an invigorating village and activity draw people back but we needed to find a way to entice guests for their initial visit.”

Whether you’re into hiking, running, biking, golf, wine and food, quilting, classic cars, acres of alpine flower blossoms, or checking out the local farmers’ market vendors, Sun Peaks has expanded its repertoire of events and attractions in efforts to cater to a wide audience in the summer and off season months.

For Sun Peaks Mayor Al Raine focussing on the summer season was one of the first orders of business when the municipality was incorporated.

“In council’s opinion, improving the summer business climate was a critical issue so the municipal focus is certainly on the summer, or the off season, and whatever we can do to increase business during those periods,” said Raine.

“It’s going to be a few years to get us where we want to be, but our goal is that you can arrive at Sun Peaks for any period between mid June to late September and find a whole myriad of interesting and entertaining functions and events.”

With funding in place and a jam packed event schedule booked for the 2012 summer season it appears that Sun Peaks has found the recipe for summer success to follow their 50th Anniversary winter season.

For a full events listings visit www.sunpeaksresort.com

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