SUN PEAKS, BC — After the 2016-17 season proved to be another record year for the resort municipality, Sun Peaks continues to welcome more and more visitors to the mountain and with improved amenities in the village, like the school and new health centre, more and more of those visitors are moving to Sun Peaks permanently.
Saturday at Sun Peaks, and it was another busy winter weekend up at the mountain resort.
Last season was another record year at the mountain resort; according to Tourism Sun Peaks President and CEO Arlene Schieven, this season’s numbers are looking even better.
“We’ve been off to a really good start,” Schieven told CFJC Today on Saturday. “November was an incredibly good month for us with the early snow, and so we had lots of ski teams in the resort, and saw a really huge bump in occupancy that month. We’ve kind of carried that momentum through December. We’re definitely pacing ahead of this winter compared to last winter… that’s on top a record winter last year.”
Of course, the big reason the resort remains busy is the abundance of quality snow they continue to receive.
“It’s been great, and we had another six centimetres since [Friday] afternoon,” Schieven explained. “All of those little refreshes really help. It’s been good conditions pretty much all the way through from when we opened.”
According to Sun Peaks Mayor Al Raine, the increase in visitor numbers has resulted in more and more people moving to the community permanently.
“In the latest census, [Sun Peaks population] was 626, or something like that,” Raine said. “I think we’ve grown since that - [the census] was a year and a half ago, almost. I think we’re up around 750.”
Raine says the growth of the school at Sun Peaks and the opening of the new Health Centre are real drivers of the growth in the community.
“Part of the municipality’s focus is to make sure that we become year-round,” Raine explained. “There’s no sense having a resort where you’re winter only and then everyone has to go find a job somewhere else. We’re trying to build a stable community where people have year round… meaningful employment, and that’s why the school and health care, those kinds of things are impertinent
With around three months left in this year’s ski and snowboard season at Sun Peaks, there are still plenty of big events to keep driving up the visitor numbers at the mountain.
“We’ll have our second annual Snowbombing [Festival] in April. That was a huge event last year, four days of music and skiing,” Schieven said. “We’re just excited about all the new things that are happening here.”
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