Tourism Sun Peaks Quarterly E-newsletter Sun Peaks Resort

From international and regional marketing campaigns to world class culinary events, Tourism Sun Peaks promotes and drives new clients to resort businesses. Check out some of the highlights and successes from the last quarter in this edition!

In this e-Newsletter:
Message from the President
Central Reservations: Summer Sales Success
Sales: Air Access Increases
Marketing: Inroads into New Summer Markets
Media Relations: Increased Summer Media Coverage
Events: A Fully Loaded Summer
Message from the President

Submitted by Christopher Nicolson, President

Summer 2012 proved to be a benchmark season for the resort community. The event strategy proved successful in driving first time visitors resulting in a healthy increase in room nights (23% from July 1 to September 30). 

Some of the events were conducted with new partnerships and promise to deliver even greater growth in 2013 and beyond. New Mountain Resort Municipality dollars were directed toward a concert series that drove record visitors to the resort. Part of this strategy included celebrity attractions, namely Kevin Costner, at the beginning of the summer that dramatically increased the resort’s summer awareness with consumers.  

As a resort, we took some marketing risks and successfully introduced our community to thousands of new visitors. And it is the businesses, volunteers and residents we need to thank for their commitment to the guest experience once these new guests arrived.
These successes do not overshadow the fact Sun Peaks still needs fill substantial capacity in the summer months and certain sectors like retail sales lagged behind other measurements such as room nights. But the growth experienced at Sun Peaks this summer was exceptionally rare in British Columbia. 

Organisationally, we would like to thank Roman St.Germain for his service as Chair of the Tourism Sun Peaks Board of Directors. A new opportunity has taken him back to Vancouver and we wish him well. We congratulate Reiner Brecht of Bear Country Lodging -  recently elected Chair by the Board. He is supported by the new Vice Chair, John Histed, from the Coast Sundance Lodge.
As the 2012-13 winter approaches, Tourism Sun Peaks is fully engaged in sales and marketing promotion for the resort.  Early booking reports provide optimism for the coming winter and several new marketing campaigns will launch in the coming weeks to ensure our summer success carries into the winter.


Christopher Nicolson

Central Reservations: Summer Sales Success

Submitted by Theresa St. Louis, Central Reservations Manager


Increased Summer Sales and Online Bookings
Summer sales exceeded the summer of 2011 in nearly all criteria. Gross lodging sales posted an 18% increase, units booked a 30% increase and nights booked a 19% increase. Online bookings also showed huge growth with 27% more bookings, 25% more revenue and 16% more room nights booked over last year. Central Reservations gross summer sales exceeded $200,000 for the first time ever, a 21% increase over our best recorded year in 2009 of $174,000.

Record Breaking Summer Occupancy
Summer occupancy reached record numbers. With the great event additions to the summer atmosphere, the summer occupancy increased for the months of June, July and August by 17% inclusive. August 2012 posted our largest August occupancy on record with an increase of 10% dating back from 2005.

Summer Event Ticket Sales
Central Reservations facilitated the event ticket sales for nearly every event this summer. The gross ticket revenue collected increased by over 500%. This is due to the addition of the two large concert events, Liquid Gold, Women’s Wellness and Oktoberfest. 

The Firefighters Charity Gala
Central Reservations will be facilitating the Sun Peaks Firefighters Gala again this season. Tickets are $80 with proceeds going to the Sun Peaks Education Society and the Sun Peaks Speed Skiing Club. Contact Jennifer to book in your event tickets and reserve your table at 1-250-578-5389 or by email at

Sun Peaks Winter Festival of Wine
The 2013 Sun Peaks Winter Festival of Wine event tickets are now available.  This year’s event runs from Saturday, January 12th to Sunday January 20th. Event details and descriptions are online here:
Book your favorite events soon before they sell out. Book a 2 or 3 night Festival Package before November 17th and SAVE 10% off of the package total.

Increased Kelowna Shuttle Service
Beginning January 2013, Sun Peaks will be serviced by increased Kelowna shuttle service. With the addition of United Airlines daily flight service from Los Angeles International Airport to Kelowna International Airport , Central Reservations has added a daily evening shuttle to the Kelowna Airport beginning January 5th. The Kelowna shuttle service will take approximately 2.5 hours and is $60 plus HST per person. Contact Central Reservations for all of your transportation needs at 1-800-807-3257 ext. 1.
Sales: Air Access Increases

Submitted by Colin Brost, Director of Sales


United Flight Sparks Renewed Energy
The Tourism Sun Peaks’ sales team has been actively working with regional partners and key US wholesalers to take advantage of the increased air access with the introduction of the Los Angeles International Airport to Kelowna International Aiport daily direct flight. The Director of Sales recently visited two agencies training over 40 ski specialist agents on Sun Peaks Resort in preparation of the anticipated increase in consumer demand and inquiries.   

Born Again Snow Bum
In efforts to capitalize on inroads made in Brazil during the 2009-10 Sun Peaks Official Snow Bum Campaign, the winner and now Brazilian Ambassador for Sun Peaks will be hosting Brazilian skiers on package holidays during Rio De Janerio’s Carnival. Sun Peaks is being promoted through tour operator partners as well as through key industry associations including the Canadian Tourism Commission.

Australian Olympic Visitors
As part of an enhanced partnership with Interschools New South Wales, Australia, Tourism Sun Peaks will host Australian Olympians Ben Sim (Nordic) and Ramone Cooper (Moguls) during the expanded Family Cup – All Nations Celebration in January. Both Ben and Ramone competed for their home country in Whistler during the 2010 Games and have been actively inviting Australian skiers and families to join them in Sun Peaks in January. The announcement stemmed from the successful negotiation between Tourism Sun Peaks and Interschools New South Wales, in creating a comprehensive, long term agreement with the Australian group.

Consumer Show Season Begins
The sales team has begun intense planning for the upcoming fall ski show schedule, including the Warren Miller premier movie nights throughout Washington State. The sales team will be promoting the resort at 24 shows in 17 different cities throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Washington and the United Kingdom. In efforts to capitalize on the new air service from Los Angeles, Tourism Sun Peaks is once again attending the LA Ski Show in mid-November to speak directly to the ski consumer and generate bookings.

Auto Clubs Interest Increases
Tourism Sun Peaks regional efforts were successful in securing the BC Corvette Club to host their annual event along the streets of Sun Peaks. After 26 years in Whistler, the club agreed amenities and customer service found in Sun Peaks are difficult to match and are looking forward to a long term presence in the resort.
Other auto clubs continue to be a regional focus as these third party events add animation and room nights in the resort during the summer season.

Marketing: Inroads into New Summer Markets

Submitted by Christina Antoniak, Destination Marketing Manager

Department Highlights

Event Advertising Leads to an Increase in Guest Visitation
The regional advertising campaign this summer took a strong focus on event messaging. Events are an important value added component, giving first time guests extra incentive to choose Sun Peaks for their getaway. With the Resort Municipality Initiative funding through the provincial government, the two anchor concert events (Kevin Costner & Modern West, July 7 and Matthew Good with Special Guests, September 1) were valuable tools to give a resonating message that made an impact in newer summer markets – the Okanagan and Lower Mainland – as well as the core markets – Kamloops and area and the Cariboo.

Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) Explorer Quotient (EQ) Standards Launch at Sun Peaks
Tourism Sun Peaks is proud to partner with the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association in bringing the EQ standards of brand marketing to Sun Peaks’ marketing materials. From copy writing to imagery and design style, the EQ standards developed by the CTC focus on an experiential way of communicating the tourism experience. As regional operators and destination marketing organizations across Canada begin to implement these principles, it gives Canada a more consistent presentation in the consumer market.

A portion of Sun Peaks’ summer photography was shot in EQ style and copy writing is making a shift in this direction. In the fall, Tourism Sun Peaks will launch a consumer survey to start uncovering the type of EQ styles resort guests are classified under. To find out more about EQ, visit

Database Integration and Enhanced Email Communication
Email communication is being enhanced, allowing for better measurement tools and automation. The new guest communication tools are being implemented so Tourism Sun Peaks will stay in better contact with their customers and return guests.


Winter Advertising
The regional winter advertising campaign launches in October with brand messaging in a selection of winter magazine publications, including Ski Canada, Mountain Life, Escarpment and SBC Skier. Following will be a launch of the online portion of the campaign, with search and display advertisements running in the key markets of Vancouver, Seattle, Edmonton, and Toronto.

Tourism Sun Peaks is working together with the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, Big White Resort and Silver Star Resort on a collective marketing campaign in the Los Angeles market. With the launch of the daily United Airlines flight into the Kelowna Airport (YLW) this opens up new market potential for all three resorts. The campaign will run from November through January with guests being directed to a campaign landing site

Tourism Sun Peaks and Sun Peaks Resort Corporation are partnering with the Canada’s West Ski Areas Association and the 12 other BC destination ski resorts on a collective marketing campaign targeting Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Seattle and Los Angeles. The consortium is working closely with Tourism British Columbia to leverage their online marketing campaigns and compliment the media mix.

Media Relations: Increased Summer Media Coverage

Submitted by Brandi Schier, Media and Marketing Coordinator


Increased Summer Media Coverage
Larger and more frequent events, as well as strong summer numbers, allowed for greater summer media attention over the last three months. Over 30 journalists were hosted in resort and experienced a myriad of different events and activities resulting in exposure in several national and provincial publications and broadcasts as well as in many regional and niche publications promoting the summer Sun Peaks experience.

Farm to Fork Media Tour
Over the Labour Day weekend, Tourism Sun Peaks hosted six travel and food journalists to experience the Farm to Fork dining philosophy at Sun Peaks. In partnership with local producers, such as Mitchell Cattle Co., Thistle Farms and Harper’s Trail, as well as village restaurants, including Mantles Restaurant, Black Garlic Bistro and the Sun Peaks Bakery, the media toured local producers’ farms then tasted the local flavours of the valley in the Sun Peaks village restaurants.  

Social Media
Throughout the summer, Sun Peaks saw increased summer consumer engagement across its social networks. For example, this summer, the total number of new Facebook fans increased by over 50% more than the number of new fans over the same time period in 2011. New social media channels were also launched including Pinterest and Instagram. The Matthew Good Concert saw Sun Peaks’ first Instagram contest with over 60 submissions utilizing user generated content surrounding the event.


Fall Media Events
In October, the media team will attend travel and ski media events in Colorado, Toronto and Seattle to make important new connections and inform media outlets of the potential stories waiting to be told at Sun Peaks. These visits will lay the foundation for hosting media throughout the coming year. 

Winter Festival of Wine
This winter, Tourism Sun Peaks will work with the Okanagan Wine Festival Society to host wine and lifestyle writers throughout the ten day festival.

Social Media Contest
The media and marketing teams are preparing to launch a new, innovative social media contest this winter. Stay tuned for further details soon!
Events: A Fully Loaded Summer

Submitted by Janice Nankivell, Events & Adventure Centre Manager


Kevin Costner & Modern West
A new, landmark event for Sun Peaks was the July Kevin Costner & Modern West concert. Approximately 6000 people were in resort during the show. Concert goers set up their lawn chairs and picnic blankets on the mountainside to watch the musical performances. Local talent was selected to open the concert including Margit Bull & Sweetgrass and Peter Ernst’s band Weeds.

Retro Music Weekend 2012
The 3rd Annual Retro Music weekend continued to grow into a signature Sun Peaks summer experience. Over 1000 people congregated  the village square to dance to tunes from The Beatles, Guns N Roses, Aerosmith and ABBA and Neil Young cover bands.

Matthew Good Solo Acoustic with Special Guests
Another large event for Sun Peaks was the Matthew Good Solo Acoustic with Special Guests concert on the Labour Day weekend. The resort saw approximately 3000 people brave the cooler weather to enjoy the show featuring Vince Vaccaro, Wil, Stef Lang and Matthew Good. 


Christmas in Sun Peaks – December 15, 2012
Sun Peaks will get into the holiday spirit early this year with a visit from Santa and some of his elves. They will be in the village taking pictures with children and collecting their gift requests! The village will come alive with carolers, winter activities, vendors and more. Watch for further details coming soon!

The 15th Annual Sun Peaks Winter Festival of Wine, January 12th – 20th
Now in its 15th year, contracts have been signed and event locations secured for the Sun Peaks Winter Festival of Wine. New events, such as the Wine Masters Dinner: A Blend of Canada and Australia will accompany established favourites such as the Sun Peaks Progressive Tasting presented by WestJet over the ten day festival. Book your tickets now to secure your favourite events!

Preparing the Adventure Centre for a winter of fun
Our Winter Activity Operators are prepared and anticipating the new winter season. Details on winter activities can be found at
Winter Lift Opening
Get your skis waxed up! Winter Operations are set to begin November 17, 2012.
Firefighters Charity Gala
Saturday, November 17. All proceeds will go to the Sun Peaks Education Society and the Sun Peaks Speed Skiing Club.
Tickets Available for the Sun Peaks Winter Festival of Wine (January 12 to 20)
Buy now so you do not miss your favourite events.
2012 - 13 Winter Events
Sun Peaks will be a busy spot this winter! Check out all the upcoming event here.
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