Wednesday August 27, 2014

B.C. Family Day a hit at Sun Peaks

While B.C. families enjoyed their new statutory holiday last weekend, Sun Peaks Resort was raking in the dough.

"It didn't take B.C. residents long to figure out what to do with the long weekend," said Christopher Nicolson, Sun Peaks president of tourism.

The mountain saw 5,000 skiers take to its slopes on Sunday alone. From Friday to Monday, the number of skiers increased by 45 per cent over the same time last year, which rivals numbers the resort sees over Christmas, according to Nicolson.

The skiers also stayed. From Friday to Sunday, occupancy numbers jumped 60 per cent from the previous year.

It's a success story that's also telling for the provincial government's decision to hold the holiday on the second week of February, said Nicolson.

Some have criticized the date, preferring the third week of February. But Nicolson said the ski day was a boon for British Columbians since they didn't have to compete with Washingtonian tourists coming up during next weekend's President's Day.

He added it's also a boon for the B.C. economy since businesses have two weekends in February to look forward to.

"There's two positives, one is the ability for B.C. residents to play in their own province," he said. "And from the perspective of tax revenues, if the weekend was placed on the President's weekend, there wouldn't have been any incremental revenues."

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