Sun Peaks scrambling for employee accommodations

By Chad Klassen
August 10, 2016 - 5:34pm

KAMLOOPS — Sun Peaks is enjoying another busy summer, with a 21% increase in July visitors over last year. 

But already, as the resort looks ahead to the ski season, there's concern about housing for an additional 300 seasonal workers expected here for winter. 

WATCH: Full report by Chad Klassen

"Employees accomodation is always a struggle in every mountain resort in the world," says Sun Peaks GM Darcy Alexander. "But this sudden resurgence in the real estate market has tightened the market up, made it tighter for rentals as well as sales."

The resort has two apartment units exclusively for employees, but the rooms are already taken by those working in the summer. 

There are 50 employees on a waiting list for November when the ski hill opens. The resort is working with the municipality to secure non-market rentals for employees. 

EXTENDED READING: Sun Peaks council approves townhouse complex

"We're looking at temporary solutions for portable housing for this winter and other things," says Alexander. "We just have to create a long-term program that deals with it, because employees are key. They're the front end of your business, they're the face of your business to your guests, and we need those people to be happy and healthy and hopefully living in the resort." 

Some of the summer employees are already having to live down the hill in Whitecroft, or even Kamloops.

Mayor Al Raine says the housing crunch is all part of the resorts' growth in the last couple years. 

"All of a sudden, in the past two years, we've started to see an increase in the number of families moving to Sun Peaks, which I think is part of the school here." 

Alexander projects the resort needs to build another 300 units in the next three years to keep up. 

There are a dozen single-family homes under construction, and another 26 units will be built on Village Way, a townhouse complex approved by Sun Peaks Council on Tuesday.

"In the short term, we need more supply. In the last six to 12 months, the market here has really heated up, and a lot of the supply has been absorbed. There's still some left here, but the 26 units is just the first of what I think is going to be several projects over the next three years."

Coroners Service identifies body found at Kamloops Lake