Things are looking up

WestJetThe final numbers for 2013 are in and both Kamloops Airport and Sun Peaks Resort are noting increases for the winter season thus far.

Kamloops Airport reports 30,021 travellers in December 2013, almost 4,000 more than December 2012. The 13 per cent increase can be attributed to the additional flights from Vancouver, and to Sun Peaks’ exceptional snow conditions in comparison to the Coast.

“It always helps at the beginning of the year to have Sun Peaks make their bold announcements about how good the snow is, and how deep, powdery and fluffy it is because that usually gets down to the lower mainland and we tend to see results of that pretty quick,” says Fred Legace, managing director at Kamloops Airport. “There’s a lot of people down there (who) will quickly jump on an airplane and head up here.”

Similarly, Tourism Sun Peaks (TSP) is reporting a six per cent increase in occupancy for December 2013. According to Christopher Nicolson, president of TSP, two contributing factors are apparent — weather and summer marketing.

“We do know that there was some displaced business that came to Sun Peaks as a result of the snow challenges on the island and on the Coast,” says Nicolson.

While the snow conditions have brought Sun Peaks more traffic, Nicolson gives credit to the successful summer strategies for contributing to the increased number of occupied units in December of 2013 — almost 800 more than December 2012.

“While we have more people visiting in the winter, there’s actually been a big increase in the number of people who have first visited the resort in the summertime, for concerts and events, then come back in the winter time because they enjoyed it so much,” continues Nicolson.

The Sun Peaks community is working towards becoming a busy, all season resort with something to offer year round.

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