Tourism Sun Peaks Quarterly E-newsletter Sun Peaks Resort
FIRST QUARTER 2012 | SPRING

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: Resort Occupancy Forecasted to Grow 7% This Winter
Sales: Increased Number of Sales Fams and Busy Show Season
Marketing: Regional Marketing Helps Boost Winter Occupancy, and Getting Amped for Summer Concert Series, Take 2!
Media Relations: Wrapping Up Winter Media Visits and Successful Just Picture It Campaign
Events: Getting Ready for Another Successful Summer
Message from the President

Dear Members,

Increased awareness levels, new holiday dates, and excellent snow conditions all contributed to Sun Peaks earning its busiest winter season since the 2008 economic crisis.

As of the end of March, over 65,000 resort-wide room nights had been booked posting a 7% year over year growth in winter room nights. It is important to recognize that guest spending levels particularly in the restaurant and retail sector has not returned to previous highs, but does suggest the marketplace is choosing to regain confidence and travel.
  
Of equal importance is the advancement of Sun Peaks awareness levels and consumer intentions to visit the resort. In research conducted by RRC & Associates in the Vancouver marketplace in mid-February of this year, skier awareness levels and intention to visit Sun Peaks was higher than any other BC interior resort…this is a significant milestone in Sun Peaks 20 year history. While there is much more work to do, it is a testament to the consistent messaging, positive guest experience, and community welcome, that has been delivered by resort businesses and locals.
 
Thanks to the many Sun Peaks owners that voted in the Province’s selection process for the date of the new BC Family Day holiday, February enjoyed new growth of 8%. The government’s decision to schedule BC Family Day on the 2nd weekend of the month generated completely incremental visitation rather than displacing valued Alberta and Washington guests celebrating holidays on the third weekend.

Likewise, March enjoyed growth of 22% with spring break vacationers from BC, Alberta and Ontario, and events such as the Nancy Greene Ski Festival and CADS Spring Festival and Championships.

Anticipation for summer 2013 is high. Tourism Sun Peaks and the Mountain Resort Municipality will be announcing the main talent for the July 13th and the start of the Summer Music Series. Weekend entertainment and animation has been extended to incorporate Friday evenings and Sunday’s throughout the summer starting on June 28.
  
Tourism Sun Peaks encourages everyone to review the extensive schedule of summer events, and plan a weekend or two with your family and friends on the mountain…especially those friends that have never before visited the resort. The village atmosphere was vibrant last summer, and we hope you make it a part of your summer in 2013.

 

Sincerely,

Christopher Nicolson
President, Tourism Sun Peaks
president@sunpeakstourism.com

Central Reservations: Resort Occupancy Forecasted to Grow 7% This Winter

Submitted by Theresa St. Louis, Central Reservations Manager

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Winter Occupancy Growth
Resort occupancy is pacing above last year for the winter season from November to April. As of March, the resort occupancy reports indicate we are forecasting to be 7% ahead of last year’s final numbers. March is forecasted as a 22% growth over 2012 actual occupancy.

Ancillary Sales Growth
Central Reservations has seen a consistent growth in ancillary sales this season. Gross reservation revenue for add-on products such as Sports School, rental equipment and lift tickets has grown by 40% this winter.

Improving Online Bookings
Online bookings continue to represent 54% of the Central Reservations bookings. Product descriptions and imagery will continue to be upgraded over the coming months to make the product review experience better for our customers.

Exceptional Seasonal Staff
Central Reservations had a great team of seasonal staff this year who exhibited hard work and commitment to the department and Tourism Sun Peaks.

LOOKING AHEAD

Summer Rates and Bookings
Summer Lodging Rates are now available and summer hiking, biking and golf packages will be available online in mid-April. Central Reservations will be the hub for booking all weekend events and festivals again this summer. At this time guests can find the Quilting in the Mountains booking links within the events calendars for July 19-23, 2013.

Sales: Increased Number of Sales Fams and Busy Show Season

Submitted by Colin Brost, Director of Sales

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Familiarization tours increase at Sun Peaks Resort
TSP has secured an increased number of tourism industry familiarization tours over the past three months from both key and emerging markets. More than 11 independent fams and over 50 travel trade professional have visited the resort conducting site inspections and experiencing both ski and non-ski activities in order to sell Sun Peaks better in 2013-14.

Trade Shows Feature Sun Peaks as a Summer Destination
TSP conducted both agent training and B2B meetings with over 35 operators at the recent CTC Corroboree Roadshow (Australia) and ITB (Germany). Focus was primarily around growing awareness and programs and itineraries based on the summer season from May to October for international independent travelers, which is a growing market for Sun Peaks.

LOOKING AHEAD

Upcoming Australia Consumer Ski Shows
While winter is winding down in the northern hemisphere, TSP is once again Down Under working the consumer ski shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland in May and June. A total of eight shows with an estimated combined total of 10,000 skiers will be in attendance.

Winter 2013/14 and Summer 2014 on the Agenda
TSP will once again be attending Mountain Travel Symposium meeting with key tour operators in April and looking for new opportunities for growth. The largest “winter/ski” focused show globally, MTS brings together the top operators and mountain resorts from around the world. TSP is also co-sponsoring the annual “Ski Canada Reception” which opens the show.

Rendezvous Canada, the largest trade show on Canadian soil, will be held in April in Ottawa. TSP will be conducting meetings with inbound receptive tour operators as well as in-market tour operators. Seasonality of discussions will be dictated by operator and market to offer the best chance of success.

Marketing: Regional Marketing Helps Boost Winter Occupancy, and Getting Amped for Summer Concert Series, Take 2!

Submitted by Christina Antoniak, Destination Marketing Manager

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Regional Winter Advertising
While winter advertising comes to a wrap mid-March, a couple of additions proved successful in moving the marker early for Spring Break bookings. A selection of March ads were pulled back into February and new programs hit the market in February, including TV ads on Global Edmonton and Calgary and the Weather Network nationally with a concentration in Ontario, a superboard billboard West of Calgary and a billboard heading into Blue Mountain Resort in Ontario.

Snowboard Canada Magazine Takes to the Slopes for the Official Grade Eh 2014 Board Tests
A new partnership with Snowboard Canada magazine culminated on March 3, 2013, bringing the entire editorial staff of Snowboard Canada, SBC Resort Guide and Snowboard Canada Women’s Annual along with 16 industry representatives to the resort for five days. The Grade Eh Board Test will launch in the 2013 Fall Issue of Snowboard Canada, Snowboard Canada Women’s Annual, and on www.snowboardcanada.com, and will position Sun Peaks as the home resort for the board tests. The group of 16 testers spanned industry brand managers, ex-pro snowboarders, and up and coming sponsored riders. Sun Peaks’ terrain and village proved the ideal setting and we hope to continue this relationship into a second year. Thank you to all partners who helped to make this project possible.

Customized Communication Begins with Tourism Sun Peaks Central Reservation Guests
As mentioned in the previous newsletter, TSP began working with Fresh Inc of Kamloops, and Lyris, an email marketing and database provider, to significantly improve the email communications with guests. We’ve started with pre-lodging email to all Central Reservations guests so they receive event and activity information just before their arrival. The new system is currently working through the stages of set-up and will soon be launching post-stay emails, welcome emails and special offer e-blasts.

LOOKING AHEAD

Summer Regional Advertising to Launch in May, Highlighting the Summer Concerts and Amenities
Following the success of last year’s summer concert series that saw resort occupancy from July through September increase 25%, funds from the Resort Municipality Initiative fund will be used to drive advertising for the major music events of the summer including the July 13 -14 and August 31 - September 1 concert dates. Core attractions such as golf, alpine hiking, and mountain biking will also be promoted with many other events this summer such as our Summer Kick-off Weekend (June 29 - 30), Alpine Blossom Festival (Aug. 2 - 5) and key sporting events such as new North Face Dirty Feet Mountain Ultra & Relay, Spartan Beast Race. Key markets will remain relatively consist to last year, including Kamloops, the Okanagan, Prince George and some very targeted initiatives in the Fraser Valley, Vancouver, Edmonton and Seattle.

‘Just Picture It’ #SunPeaks360 Social Media Campaign to Continue into Summer Months
The Just Picture It promotion enjoyed strong engagement in photo sharing through Instagram and Facebook this winter. TSP will be brainstorming how to continue social engagement via this established hashtag and contesting platform for the summer. This will be especially valuable in the first couple weeks of the summer and the first concert date as guests will share experiences to their networks of friends and family.

Media Relations: Wrapping Up Winter Media Visits and Successful Just Picture It Campaign

Submitted by Brandi Schier, Media and Marketing Coordinator

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Winter Media Fams Overview
This winter, Tourism Sun Peaks and its partners hosted over 45 individual journalists, an increase from the winter of 2011-12. Through proactive outreach and relationships with other destination marketing organizations, Sun Peaks hosted media fams from important markets including the Lower Mainland, Australia, Toronto, Seattle, California, Germany, China, Brazil, Spain and the local region. As well lifestyle and travel media, Tourism Sun Peaks also hosted journalists from the vertical snow publications of Ski Canada Magazine and Snowboard Canada with resulting coverage in the fall of 2013, increasing Sun Peaks awareness in the core skier and rider markets. Other highlights included over a dozen journalists on resort during the Sun Peaks Winter Festival of Wine and Ski TV.

Winter Media Coverage     
Sun Peaks was well represented in various media platforms across the board this winter. Sun Peaks was named the 2nd Best Ski Destination in Canada by Canadian Living Magazine. Ski Canada Magazine bestowed six awards to Sun Peaks, including most professional grooming and best celebrity moments. Many of Sun Peaks’ locals and personalities where also featured in coverage this winter including the Sun Peaks Antiques, Sun Peaks Adaptive Sports, local families and business owners and repeat visitors. Tourism Sun Peaks pursued an active broadcast media strategy this winter resulting in an increased presence on CTV BC, Global BC and The Weather Network. Watch the Sun Peaks Ski TV Episode here.

Social Media and 'Just Picture It'
Sun Peaks’ social media channels saw tremendous growth and engagement over the winter. From November to March, Facebook grew by over 6000 fans (52% increase) to a total of 18,391 and Twitter grew by over 900 followers (17% increase) to 6317. Sun Peaks’ ‘Klout’ score (used to measure social influence) grew steadily to reach an all-time high of 68. The biggest increase occurred on Instagram which went from 299 followers to 1257 (increase of 333%). Instagram is emerging as an important industry tool and Sun Peaks is now well ahead of its regional competition in this regard.

‘Just Picture It’, Tourism Sun Peaks’ new social media contest launched in mid-December and saw very high participation and social sharing throughout the winter. Over 1800 photos were uploaded on Instagram using #SunPeaks360 speaking to the highly mobile nature of guests. Another 319 photos were submitted through Facebook and Twitter. Hundreds of people voted every week on the Facebook voting application and submitted photos shared on Sun Peaks’ Facebook wall saw the highest engagement and reach in the account’s history reaching tens of thousands of potential guests. The featured photos showed snow conditions, the village and non-ski activities reflecting the true nature of a Sun Peaks experience.
 

LOOKING AHEAD

Planning for Summer
The media team is looking ahead to summer, with the first major media fam from Outdoors Northwest Magazine confirmed. The media team is working on developing unique and interesting summer story ideas and the summer media kit which will be distributed in early April. Proactive reach out to journalists and publications located in summer markets has begun and will continue throughout the spring. The Tourism Sun Peaks media team is supporting the summer events strategy with timely announcements and press releases.  

Spring Media Trip
This spring, Tourism Sun Peaks will travel to the Lower Mainland to meet with influential media personalities and publications to inform them of upcoming summer events and media opportunities. TSP will also meet with Tourism BC and TOTA to promote summer media opportunities and continue strengthening relationships with these important destination marketing organizations.
Events: Getting Ready for Another Successful Summer

Submitted by Janice Nankivell, Manager, Events & Adventure Centre

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

The Adventure & Information Centre
The Adventure Centre had a solid winter season with a lot of tour sales and bookings for all activities. We were excited to bring on a new tour this winter with the addition of a McGillivray Lake Full Day Snowshoe Tour, which includes a picnic lunch and hot apple cider at the McGillivray Lake warming hut.

The 15th Annual Sun Peaks Winter Festival of Wine
The 15th Annual Winter Festival of Wine was declared a huge success with ten sell out events and other events almost at capacity! The signature event of the week, the Sun Peaks WestJet Progressive Tasting became a hot commodity after selling out one week before the Friday evening event. A total of 650 people enjoyed wine varietals from 24 Okanagan wineries that were set up in various locations throughout the alpine village.

LOOKING AHEAD

Summer Event weekends will see an extra addition of Friday evening musical entertainment in the village throughout the season to expand on our great line up of events!

Summer Kick-off Weekend in Sun Peaks Resort
The Summer Kick-off Weekend featuring the 6th Annual Mountain of Beer & Chili Cook-off will take place on June 28 - 30 with fun kids’ activities, face painting, outdoor entertainment, buskers and more! New this year will be the West Coast Lumberjack Show performing three times per day on the Saturday and Sunday.

Alpine Blossom Festival August 2-5, 2013
The focus of this event weekend is to get up in the alpine and explore any number of our BC hiking trails while you take in the vibrant blooms like the Indian Paintbrush, Tiger Lilies and Fireweed. We’ll also have all of our usual festivities in the village square featuring musicians, clowns, kids zone, bouncy castle, climbing wall and more!

Tod Mountain Days
April 6 & 7 - Don't miss the annual end of season celebrations during the final weekend of winter operations, the Tod Mountain Days Spring Festival is a blast for the entire family!
Village Clean Up
April 10 - In celebration of Earth Day and spring, the staff at the Delta Sun Peaks Resort would like to invite you to help make this resort beautiful again! There will be a BBQ lunch provided for all that help out. Donations for Habitat for Humanity in exchange for lunch are welcome.
Summer Kick- Off Weekend
June 28 to 30 - Throughout the weekend the village will be alive with a multitude of activities such as the Mountain of Beer & Chili Cook-Off, rock climbing wall, performances from clowns, bouncy castle, and more!
9th Annual Quilting in the Mountains Festival
July 19 to 23
If you have moved recently, changed your telephone number, want to update your payment method,
or to change any other options, click here to log in to your account and enter your new information. Simple!
Contact Tourism Sun Peaks
Tel 250.578.2555  |  Fax 250.578.2552  |  Email admin@sunpeaksresort.com
It is our policy to respect your privacy; therefore, we do not pass on any information from our database to outside parties.