Tourism Sun Peaks Quarterly E-newsletter Sun Peaks Resort
FOURTH QUARTER 2013 | WINTER

From international and regional marketing campaigns to music and sports events, Tourism Sun Peaks promotes awareness and drives new visitors to resort businesses. These are highlights and successes from the last quarter.

In this e-Newsletter:
Message from the President
Central Reservations: New Airline Product Available and Positive Winter Occupancy Numbers
Sales: Partnerships and Weddings - Only the Good Ones Work!
Marketing: Bringing Guest Experiences to Life in Traditional Advertising
Media Relations: Strong Start to Winter Media Coverage and Media Visits
Events: Winter Events & Adventure Centre
Message from the President

The path from good to great - "To provide the finest mountain resort experience.”

Dear Members,

Over the past several months the Tourism Sun Peaks Board of Directors, under the chairmanship of Mr. Reiner Brecht, deliberated on the question of "How does Sun Peaks become truly great?" Is it possible? Is it needlessly arrogant? Is it measureable? These are each weighty questions that constituted an honest, humbling and vigorous debate.

By any measure, particularly guest surveys, Sun Peaks provides a resort experience well above average in the North American context. The resort now consistently rates as the #2 resort experience in Canada evidenced by Conde Nast Traveller reader surveys, Canadian Living Magazine, and most significantly by SBC Media’s Editor’s Choice Awards – the publishers of SBC Skier and Snowboard Canada Magazines. But how does Sun Peaks become recognized as the best?

The Board resolutely believes it is possible to be the best resort experience in Canada. It identified areas it could influence (eg: resort experience rather than weather) and focused on specific enhancements of greatest influence to a resort guest. The process reaffirmed a commitment and belief in the resort’s mission statement “to provide the finest mountain resort experience in Canada.” And it realized a need to inspire belief around this bold vision in the broader community, and more importantly to share it and its responsibilities with stakeholders and staff, both new and old.

The result has been the start of a journey called ‘Delivering the Promise’. This has included workshops with resort businesses to define and adopt the vision statement on their own terms. It meant defining the expectations of one’s self, and of business peers within the community. It freed us to demand the best in one another for our guests. It allowed us to understand that businesses in this village cannot succeed independently, and our reputation is interconnected to that of our peers.

At one level the vision can be just words on a page. Other resorts might have something similar. But few resort communities on the planet have the natural and planned infrastructure of Sun Peaks working to its benefit. Collectively, Sun Peaks has the ability to complement these assets by nurturing the belief, confidence, and actions of each business, employee, and resident, to provide a resort experience unlike any other in Canada. The designation of the ‘finest mountain resort experience’ is not measured by size or lifts, but by the passion, care, concern and attention of its people to every guest from which a reputation is built.  We will know we will have succeeded, when a traveller who asks where they should vacation in Canada is given the response ”Sun Peaks, of course.”     

Cheers,


Christopher Nicolson
President, Tourism Sun Peaks
President@SunPeaksTourism.com

Central Reservations: New Airline Product Available and Positive Winter Occupancy Numbers

Submitted by Theresa St. Louis, Central Reservations Manager

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Selling WestJet Flights through Central Reservations
This fall Sun Peaks Central Reservations successfully completed the application process with the International Air Transportation Association to receive Travel Industry Designer Service Code certification. This certification allows Central Reservations to sell in-bound and out-bound air, and the opportunity to partner with WestJet. For the remainder of the winter season we will focus on individual offers by bundling accommodation, lift tickets, flights and airport transfers. In the future, group options and pre-set value packages will be available. Air quotes are available only through the Call Centre at 1-800-807-3257 ext. 1.

Winter Resort Occupancy Pacing Ahead
Overall winter resort occupancy is pacing ahead of last season by double digits for all winter months. The resort is on pace to exceed the 65,000 room nights of the 2012-13 winter season, which was Sun Peaks' highest occupancy winter since the economic downturn in 2008. These numbers can be attributed to a returning consumer confidence and inroads made in Sun Peaks’ priority markets.

LOOKING AHEAD

Wine Festival Tickets Available through Central Reservations
Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival tickets are available for the 2014 festival through Central Ceservations, including tickets for the flagship event – Sun Peaks Progressive Tasting presented by WestJet on Friday, January 17, 2014. With some events selling out early, guests and residents are encouraged to secure tickets to their favourite events early. Contact Reservations at 1-800-807-3257 ext. 1 for event ticket purchases.
Sales: Partnerships and Weddings - Only the Good Ones Work!

Submitted by Colin Brost, Director of Sales

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Budding Partnerships
Tourism Sun Peaks is proactively developing effective partnerships as evidenced by co-hosting a tour operator reception at Canada West Marketplace. At the tradeshow TSP secured 49 appointments with key operators, a record number at the annual show.

TSP will be attending “Canada Calls”, a New Zealand based Business to Business industry show in late January with a summer and culinary theme. At the show, TSP has initiated a joint prize component with VIA Rail to enhance the existing partnership and increase the strength of the Sun Peaks brand while supporting overall awareness to our region.

LOOKING AHEAD

Emerging Markets
Modest efforts in Brazil have resulted in more than 10 new operators promoting Sun Peaks packages. TSP has strengthened efforts in the Asian market and included mainland China for the first time. TSP is involved in a promotion with the Canadian Tourism Commission and will see exposure to this growing market through the Chinese ski resort, Nanshan. Promotions include the latest Sun Peaks promotional video and resort collateral on display for the entire ski season at this popular resort near Beijing. Chinese visits to BC exceeded those from Australia for the first time this past September.

Wedding Bliss
TSP has once again committed resources to the growing wedding market and will be promoting Sun Peaks as the ideal winter or summer wedding destination at shows in January including Vancouver, Vernon and Prince George. More than 2000 brides and their wedding parties will be on hand to learn more about the romantic destination of Sun Peaks. Cross promotion of the summer event line-up and year round activities will continue in these key regional markets at the shows.

VIA Rail will be promoting Sun Peaks as a romantic stop on all rail travel through BC at the upcoming Corroboree Road Show in Australia in early February. Their presentation revolves around a romantic theme and personal photos of Sun Peaks’ mid-mountain Franziskus Chapel taken during recent visit by VIA’s Senior Sales Manager.
Marketing: Bringing Guest Experiences to Life in Traditional Advertising

Submitted by Christina Antoniak, Destination Marketing Manager

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Winter Campaign Message Communicates Experiences
Quite often we hear from new Sun Peaks guests that their expectations were far exceeded – “I had no idea” is a term heard frequently. The high probability that they will become a repeat guest, in combination with the ever increasing amount of first hand travel experiences being shared through social networks among peers, are the guiding lights in our “DON’T TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT. OUR GUESTS TELL OUR STORY BEST.” marketing campaign. Quotes from TripAdvisor, images from Instagram and a first person, experiential tone of voice have become the face of the campaign in our print, television and online advertising. This campaign is setting Sun Peaks apart from other ski destinations to connect on a deeper, more personal level with consumers.  

National Snow Media Selects Sun Peaks for Annual Tests
For the second season in a row, Sun Peaks will host the Snowboard Canada Magazine GradeEh board tests in early March, 2014. The editorial team together with their group of seasoned industry testers will again take advantage of our terrain diversity, convenient layout, and slopeside village to maximize time spent testing and rating 2015 snowboards. In addition for 2014, Ski Canada Magazine will bring their large scale ski test to Sun Peaks in February. Similar to Snowboard Canada, they will bring editorial staff and a large group of ski testers.   

Sun Peaks Awarded Best Overall Resort, #2 by SBC Resort Guide Magazine
Snowboard Canada editorial staff together with sister publication, SBC Skier, rated Sun Peaks as the Best Overall Resort #2, in their 2014 SBC Resort Guide magazine - an award the entire community should be very proud of.

New Illustrated Village Map Now Available
After several months of concept development and design, a new illustrated village map commissioned by TSP is now available for guests at select accommodation providers, the Tourism Sun Peaks office and the Adventure Centre. The new map is the artists’ visual representation of the village core and overall community, and provides a useful tool for front line staff showing guests where to find businesses, activities, etc. 

LOOKING AHEAD

Summer Promotion Kicks Off in the New Year
With the earliest summer concert announcement to date – Blue Rodeo plays Sun Peaks on July 5, 2014 and The Doodlebops on August 2 – promotions will begin in January. An in-resort summer rack card focused on the 2014 Summer Concert Series and other events will cross promote to winter guests. A direct mailing to our Central Reservations database will be sent mid-January, promoting both summer events and Spring Break/mid-season ski packages.

Media Relations: Strong Start to Winter Media Coverage and Media Visits

Submitted by Brandi Schier, Media Specialist

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

New Vancouver Media Reception and Fall Media Events
In a new Sun Peaks initiated endeavour, a joint media reception was held in Vancouver with Mike Wiegele’s Helicopter Skiing, focusing on mainstream and ski media in the city. The event was well attended and allowed TSP to pitch Sun Peaks stories to qualified media. Also new this fall, TSP attended the Travel Media Association of Canada BC Chapter media event providing an opportunity to network with Destination BC and other regional media partners, as well as pitch to top quality BC journalists. These opportunities were in addition to annual media events in Boulder, Seattle and Toronto.

Early Winter Media Coverage
TSP generated articles in several important publications in the weeks leading into the ski season, including a large feature in Ski Canada Magazine and the SBC Resort Guide. In addition, there were also articles in the Calgary Herald, Avenue Calgary, Dreamscapes Magazine and Outdoors Northwest Magazine, amoung others. Regionally, on-air radio interviews were conducted on three major stations in Kamloops immediately prior to opening day. Several newsworthy items also contributed to early season media mentions, including the “Ski Before Opening Day” contest in support of local racer Elli Terwiel, Sun Peaks’ earliest Nordic opening on record, and one of the largest alpine openings in the resort’s history.

Winter Media Visits Begin
In December, TSP and resort partners hosted influential media guests from Seattle and Australia. This included a King 5 TV personality, a Destination BC supported media visit representing major Australian daily newspapers and a writer contributing to the Boston Globe’s winter destination piece to be published in January 2014.

LOOKING AHEAD

Upcoming Media Guests
Tourism Sun Peaks is currently organizing upcoming media fams for 30 journalists from key winter markets. Visits represent the UK’s largest print ski and snowboard magazine, Ontario’s most prominent ski magazine, the nation’s largest online newspaper network, the Canadian Tourism Commission’s Best Travel Blog 2012, one of Canada’s leading online parenting magazines, as well as major provincial and national newspapers. In addition, Tourism Sun Peaks will host six UK journalists from national and ski publications and will be highlighted as the only ski destination the Destination BC itinerary which is rare for A-list media fams.

Number One Australian Morning Show Visits Sun Peaks
Australia’s number one morning show will be broadcasting a segment from Sun Peaks this February, along with broadcasts from Big White and Silver Star. The popular show accepted pitches from destinations all over BC and Alberta and Tourism Sun Peaks won the bid to be selected as a destination. This is a huge opportunity for the resort, as mass media exposure in Sun Peaks’ largest overseas market will be very influential.  

Events: Winter Events & Adventure Centre

Submitted by Janice Nankivell, Events & Adventure Centre Manager

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

The Adventure & Information Centre
The Adventure & Information Centre opened in the Village Day Lodge location on November 23 to coincide with the opening day for mountain lift operations. As of mid-December, tAdventure Centre is pacing 7 per cent ahead of the same time in 2012 and will continue working to increase activity bookings for the remainder of the winter. The Adventure Centre welcomes new sleigh ride operators Rebecca and Robert.

Santa’s Alpine Visit
Santa’s Alpine Visit drew hundred to the village core on Saturday, December 14.  Many regional day visitors and overnight guests enjoyed the special holiday atmosphere in the heart of the village. The number of photos with Santa doubled from the previous year and almost 200 gingerbread men were decorated by guests in two hours.

LOOKING AHEAD

The 16th Annual Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival: January 11th – 19th, 2014
Now in its 16th year, the Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival is shaping up to be another successful event with the earliest single event sell out to date in mid-October with the Port, Chocolate & Cheese event. Six news events will join the festival this year. From wine basics in ‘Wine 101’ to learning to blend wines in ‘Assemblage’, there is something for every level of wine enthusiast. Other new events include ‘Comforts of Grilled Cheese & Wine’, ‘Snowshoes, S’mores & Mulled Wine’, ‘Crescendo: The Symphony of Taste’ and ‘A Conversation with the Chef’.

New Bands for Annual March Music Madness
Once again, live music will be featured during March in various locations throughout the village, including the base of the Sundance Chairlift on Saturdays. Bands Redeye Empire and Dope Soda will return this year, with the addition of The Boom Booms and other new acts.

Blue Rodeo and The Doodlebops Continue Increase in Quality Summer Events
TSP is pleased to have announced an earlier-than-ever release on the 2014 Summer Concert Series. Juno Award winning Blue Rodeo will perform a free concert on Saturday, July 5. An announcement of an act for Friday, July 4 will be released in January. Canada’s Alpine Blossom Festival will see popular children’s television series, The Doodlebops, perform on Saturday, August 2.
Sun Peaks Family Cup: All Nations Celebration
January 1 to 15, 2014
16th Annual Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival
Six news events will join the highly anticipated Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival from January 11 to 19, 2014.
New Family Ski Camps
Perfect for families looking to expand their skiing skills, Sun Peaks Resort is offering two new family ski camps this winter focusing on racing and off-piste skiing.
BC Family Day
February 10 - 50% Off Full Day Alpine Lift Tickets for BC Residents
3rd Annual Bluebird Banked Slalom
Back for its third year, the Bluebird Banked Slalom promises to be one of the most entertaining events of the year for racers and spectators alike.
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