Tourism Sun Peaks Quarterly E-Newsletter Sun Peaks Resort
FIRST QUARTER 2010 | SPRING ISSUE



In this e-Newsletter:
Message from the Chairperson
Message from the President
Central Reservations: Shuttles, Packages and More!
Sales Department: Olympic History
Regional Marketing: A winter unlike any other
Media Relations: Successful Winter Exposure
Resort Experience: Snow, Sips, Sumptuous Food and Fun!
Buy your summer event tickets now!
Message from the Chairperson

Submitted by Al Raine, Tourism Sun Peaks Board Chair

Following a positive referendum for Municipal Incorporation on January 30, 2010 (73% in favour), some Sun Peaks property owners are asking what does this all mean? The Minister responsible, Bill Bennett, has indicated that he would like to see Municipal elections carried out in early June 2010, with the first Municipal council meeting held before the end of that month. It appears that we are quickly moving towards local governance.

At the present time, Sun Peaks is part of a larger area within the Thompson Nicola Regional District and local decisions are made by the Regional District board. As a Resort Municipality, Sun Peaks will have a Mayor and four Councillors to govern the community. The community will be responsible for land use, planning, building inspections and bylaws, etc. Decisions will be made locally. However, with that responsibility there are also additional costs and while there are some offsetting community grants, it is anticipated that local government will increase taxes by 3%. One of the biggest costs is the takeover of local roads maintenance, which will occur after five years. The municipality will also receive 50% of the locally collected hotel tax revenues for tourism infrastructure investment. All of this and much more is explained on the website, www.sunpeaksgovernance.com. If you did not attend one of the many public meetings, you would be well advised to read through this website. Voter qualification is also explained.

During the public meeting process, it was clearly explained to those who attended and outlined in the various printed materials distributed to property owners, that the governance committee had recommended that the Province consider appointing one councillor to represent the interests of Sun Peaks Resort Corporation (SPRC). As the master developer in Sun Peaks, the community has been planned and shaped by this company. We have all bought into SPRC's vision. With local governance, property owners will play a new role in shaping the resort's future, a role that will be obviously shared to a large degree with SPRC as it continues to develop the resort's attractions. The governance committee strongly believed that in order to achieve a better and stronger resort community, it is important that a new council have both community and developer's interests at the table at the same time. It was proposed that for a 10 year period, an appointed councillor representing the SPRC interests be accepted. SPRC would only have one vote on a council of five members. There is no question that as Sun Peaks matures, both the community and developer interests must work together. As part of its original vision, SPRC requested that the province enact legislation to enable resort municipalities in BC. Some 15 years later, this vision is now being realized.

Tourism Sun Peaks will continue to carry out its mandate of marketing and promoting Sun Peaks as a tourism destination and this mandate does not change. Tourism Sun Peaks' marketing objectives are to raise the profile and image of Sun Peaks in order to attract more visitors leading to increased values of rental and non rental properties.

There will be more opportunities for owners and residents to become more involved in shaping our future. On a personal note, I strongly believe that the relationship between community and resort is extremely important. We cannot be a great resort if we are not a great community. The challenge is to work together to make Sun Peaks a stronger community and a better resort.

Sincerely,

Al Raine
Tourism Sun Peaks Chair
araine@cahiltylodge.com

Message from the President

Submitted by Christopher Nicolson, President

The term 'legacy' has been connected to the 2010 Olympics since the games were awarded to Vancouver. The legacy for Sun Peaks promised to be the introduction of our resort to new guests - people that may have initially wanted to visit renowned Whistler, but chose Sun Peaks as an alternative because they could not, or chose not, to book into an Olympic venue.

Tourism Sun Peaks' research clearly identified this diversion of traffic was an opportunity. The October 2010 launch of TSP's 'Guaranteed Experience' campaign was developed as a result, and based on the knowledge that 93% of guests recommend Sun Peaks to their close friends.

The initial indications that this strategy was proving correct came from ski clubs choosing to book Sun Peaks in the summer of 2009. It was followed by an increased number of regional skiers that did not commit to their regular Whistler vacations. These trends assisted in increasing Sun Peaks' December, January, and projected March bookings.

What we did not know, frankly until four days into the Olympics, was how our regional market would react in February. Would they stay or escape Vancouver? The answer was seemingly delivered overnight as a gold medal win, sunshine, and the electric vibe of Robson Street hit Vancouver simultaneously. Olympic fever ignited and Vancouver residents stayed to experience one of the most magical times in British Columbia's history. For Sun Peaks, this meant a lull in February during the actual games, and then a pent up blast of energy on our reservation phone lines in the days following the Games, as Tourism Sun Peaks' advertising campaign kicked into high gear.

In the years following the Games, British Columbia will see new visitors as a result of global Olympic exposure. At Sun Peaks, we benefit from the global trend, but we have already reaped the rewards of new guests. They have discovered the exceptional snow and terrain, the quality and diversity of our village experience, and the genuine hospitality of Sun Peaks' businesses, owners, residents and local skiers. And Tourism Sun Peaks is trusting past experience that suggests once a guest visits for a first time, they will return.

Congratulations and thank you for making this winter a collective success!

Cheers,

Christopher Nicolson
President
tsppresident@sunpeaksresort.com

Central Reservations: Shuttles, Packages and More!

Submitted by Theresa St. Louis, Central Reservation/Transportation Manager

This winter, Central Reservations saw a large increase of inbound calls. We increased our service hours by two hours per day, four days a week which allows us additional opportunities to fulfill guest inquiries.

Transportation
The transportation department has been very busy this season, servicing three successful routes and seeing increases in both family and group travellers. The busiest route was Kamloops to Sun Peaks with over a dozen pick-up times per day. The team was very busy with walk-in guests placing bookings and confirming reservations. Over 6,500 riders, including children under 10 years who rode free, hopped on one of our shuttles, which far exceeded our expectations.

With the winter season wrapping up, we are pleased to offer travellers summer shuttle service as well. This service will not be regulated by a specific schedule as it will require advanced reservations. Customer airport pick-up times will be customized. 

Winter Packaging
Central Reservations featured a variety of packages this season. The most popular package was our Stay and Ski Free special, offering four nights and four days of skiing for the price of three. This package was available at a variety of resort properties and included skiing for the whole family. In addition, we also offered mid week and regular season ski packages.

Summer
As we shift gears to summer, Central Reservations has a variety of properties which have the capacity to host groups of all sizes, from small family getaways to larger reunion-type gatherings. Our agents will also be selling a variety of packages, including hiking, mountain biking and golf. Click here to view our summer packages.

Golf Call Centre
With the snow melting off the greens at Sun Peaks and several golf courses in Kamloops already booking rounds, Central Reservations has been busy getting new packaging ready for our two Golf Call Centres. Golfkamloops.com features six award-winning championship courses and a variety of hotels in Kamloops. Kamloopsgolfpackages.com features thirteen local hotel properties and eleven different golf options in the Kamloops and East Shuswap region. Call 1-888-232-6603 to have a package customized for you!

New Rental Properties
For homeowners looking to get additional exposure for your rental property, Central Reservations can offer a referral listing through the Accommodation page of the website. This allows guests to see your property through our online booking engine, or call into our agents for more information. The sign up process is quite simple and our user friendly software can be set up very quickly. If you are interested in renting your vacation property through Central Reservations, please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to forward you the required paperwork.

Kind Regards,

Theresa St. Louis
Central Reservations/Transportation Manager
crezmanager@sunpeaksresort.com

Sales Department: Olympic History

Submitted by Colin Brost, International Sales Manager and Ron Betts, Regional Sales Manager

The sales team has been busy over the past four months conducting familiarization (FAM) tours, in-market sales missions and continually working to strengthen Sun Peaks Resort's position for the future.

Familiarization Tours
This past winter TSP has hosted 22 FAM's and over 105 industry professionals in resort. These FAM's are a major part of our sales initiatives with travel trade as they create experts on Sun Peaks Resort in the offices of tour operators, receptive tour operators and travel agencies around the globe.

FAM's are critical to selling Sun Peaks as it creates new sales ambassadors for the resort. For example: "I can't rave enough about the skiing. Loved being able to ski on and off, it's so awesome not having to drive anywhere. The staff down at the Adventure Centre were great too. Such an efficient operation, nothing was a bother for anyone. I tried ice skating for the first time (and didn't break my neck) and loved the snowshoe golf. We had such a funny time trying to play that. I will most definitely be recommending Sun Peaks as a destination to visit to my clients and hope to be back again in the future." - Tracy, Flight Centre, UK

International Sales Missions
On a recent sales mission into Australia and New Zealand, TSP heard reports from several wholesale partners who indicate that Sun Peaks has outpaced many neighboring resorts in BC this past winter season. Furthermore, inquiries and bookings into Canada and BC are very strong for the upcoming winter season and have been attributed to the exposure of the Olympic Games in Vancouver and Whistler.

While on this trip, Colin met with 10 key wholesalers to discuss opportunities, marketing initiatives and strategic planning for the upcoming buying season which traditionally starts in May. He also conducted training and information sessions to over 58 agents and seven key industry professionals (Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) and Air Canada Australia/New Zealand).

The sales and marketing team at TSP continuously monitor market development and adjust the messaging accordingly to ensure the most effective communication possible to the consumer. For the 2010/2011 winter season, CTC Australia is focusing on these key points that fall in line with the Sun Peaks message.

• Vast and varied terrain
• Sophisticated yet relaxed
• Genuine, warm and inviting
• Unspoiled, pure and natural surroundings
• Charming village
• Wide open spaces
• Abundant and reliable snow
• A place to relax and rejuvenate the mind and spirit
• Easy to be immersed into the local mountain/resort culture
• Dining experiences that showcase local specialties 

Planning Ahead
With the winter season winding down on the mountain, TSP is continuing to plan for next year. Consumer ski shows begin in May in Australia and New Zealand while Skitops and Mountain Travel Symposium, key industry trade shows, will be attended this April in Alberta.

Summer planning is well underway as well. Not only was summer training completed in Australia with key partners but TSP will once again be attending Rendezvous Canada in Winnipeg this May.

Building Strong Regional Relationships
As the Regional Sales Manager, one of Ron's main goals this winter was to solidify our relationships, both existing and new, in order to form strong strategic partnerships and increase resort sales. By associating with groups, we increase Sun Peaks' brand recognition and have a larger audience to hear the Sun Peaks message.

This was accomplished by the following:
• Using a member benefit structure through Central Reservations to get in front of Alumni and Corporate groups
• Maintaining good relationships with retail locations and leveraging exposure in these shops
• Exploring new relationships with select private ski clubs in Southern Ontario and sponsoring key club events such as the Osler Bluff Ladies and Men's days
• Continuing to look for new opportunities and make contact with new clientele to drive new business

The ski business is built on relationships and passion. Ask any group organizer why they spend the time and effort organizing ski trips and the answer is invariably passion or love of the sport. Similarly, when people return to a resort year after year it is undoubtedly because of the relationships they've formed. The great ski product is a part of it, but, more often than not personal experience brings people back.

Regional Exposure
The resort saw lots of exposure in the regional market this winter through several different avenues. This exposure is a direct result of relationships that will continue to be nurtured and cultivated by providing a superior product. Check it out!
• Sun Peaks advertisement in Skiis and Biikes catalogue-250,000 copies!
• A total of six corporate and alumni group e-blasts reaching over 100,000 people!
• Highly visible storefront advertising in Everett, Washington!
• Sponsorship of Osler Bluff Ladies and Men's day, which were attended by more than 500 club members.

Have a great spring and enjoy the superb skiing!

Colin Brost 
International Sales Manager
salesdirector@sunpeaksresortc.com

Ron Betts
Regional Sales Manager
salesmanager@sunpeaksresort.com

Regional Marketing: A winter unlike any other

Submitted by Christina Antoniak, Destination Marketing Manager

A special guest joins the Sun Peaks community.
In December's newsletter you were introduced to Thiago, the lucky Brazilian who won the Sun Peaks 'I want to be the Snow Bum!' contest. On January 4, he touched down on the Kamloops Airport to a flurry of media attention, at one point declaring "I feel like a celebrity!" He quickly grew used to the attention, and has hosted several media groups to the resort, including Brazil's Rede Record TV - the national Brazilian broadcaster of the 2010 Vancouver and Whistler Olympics.

This unique contest, driven through both traditional media and social media channels, brought Sun Peaks an astounding amount of media attention during its launch. Since that time, Thiago has upheld his duty by bringing to life his perspective on our beautiful resort through the words, images and videos in his frequently updated blog posts. Just visit www.snowbumcanada.com to catch up on his stories if you haven't yet had the chance. He's also maintained an official Twitter profile @SnowBumCanada, which has 300 followers, and has updated Facebook with images of his weekly activities. It's clear it will be a bitter sweet departure for Thiago, who has grown to love our resort and the people here. And not to mention the skiing - missing only a couple days on the slopes, even when his legs were aching!

Join us for the official goodbye party for our Snow Bum friend on Friday, April 9 at Morrisey's Public House from 4pm to 7pm. Drop by anytime for some apres!

The spotlight shone on Canada...and winter sports!
This winter was a unique and special time for British Columbians and all Canadians as the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games set off a spark across Canada and ignited a sense of pride in our athletes and culture that radiated around the world.

What affect did this have on BC's ski resorts? Tourism Sun Peaks' regional advertising program targeted British Columbians in the Lower Mainland, as well as residents in Washington State. While the province was getting ready to host the world, our messaging was aggressive and bold: "Visit British Columbia Interior's Biggest, Best and Closest* ski resort to the Lower Mainland (or Seattle)." This message took presence in our direct mail, print, radio and TV advertisements. It's a message that will, in some shape, continue into next winters' advertising as our goal is to continuing to educate the consumer on our product, which is still somewhat misperceived by many Lower Mainland and Washington residents.

Bookings for March slowed during the Olympics dates and in response, TSP developed an advertising campaign for the first week of March following the Games to stimulate bookings for that month. A landing page www.sunpeaksresort.com/specials and aggressive campaign was launched that included partners 'best buy' packages. This was promoted through all active advertising channels, including KOMO TV in Seattle, print ads in Black Press Newspapers (throughout the lower mainland and Kamloops area), radio ads over a week-long period in the lower mainland and through Facebook and Twitter channels. To date, the page has received approx. 1800 unique views.

Going forward to next winter, the ski industry and all tourism sectors in Canada, beginning as early as this Spring, are looking to the Canadian Tourism Commission to lead the charge in capitalizing on heightened world-wide attention on Canada. They are attempting to 'Harvest the Afterglow' of the Olympics and with such a positive experience for the country, industry is hoping for stimulated visitation into Canada, and of course the ski sector.

For the immediate future, our focus shifts to summer 2010. Creative product meetings have been taking place with resort partners of all sectors, and this summer will bring unique Sun Peaks’ products and messaging to the marketplace - stay tuned!

*Biggest - in skiable terrain versus other Interior resorts; Best - according to the 2008 Conde Nast Reader poll, rating Sun Peaks the 2nd Best Ski Resort in Canada; Closest - in driving distance than all other Interior resorts 

Sincerely,

Christina Antoniak
Destination Marketing Manager
tspmarketing@sunpeaksresort.com

Media Relations: Successful Winter Exposure

Submitted by Melanie Simmons, Media Relations Specialist

It was far from a typical winter season for the media relations department at Tourism Sun Peaks. With the Olympics taking place in Vancouver and Whistler in February, journalists were doing non-Olympic FAM trips earlier in the season in order to fit them around their 2010 Games schedule.

To put it in perspective, in December 2008 we had five media groups in the resort. This past December we had 15 groups. With epic early season snowfall, Sun Peaks was in prime shape to host these writers from high profile publications, such as Ski Canada Magazine, Ski Press, the Toronto Sun and West Coast Families. And with early visits came an early turn-around on media stories. It is not uncommon for FAM articles to be published a year after a visit, but due to the timing of the December visits we saw many stories hit the newsstands in January and February. This was perfect timing as the focus of the world was shifting to British Columbia for the Olympics. Over 60% of journalists who visited Sun Peaks this winter have already produced their pieces. Several more are set for print in the fall leading into next winter.

Winter Highlights
• WestJet Ski Free FAM in December which included Ski Canada Magazine, Ski Press Magazine, Toronto Sun, and SBC Resort Guide
• Rede Record Television from Brazil filming a 5min30sec feature on Sun Peaks and Thiago the Snow Bum that aired right before the Olympics
• Skier and Explore Magazines attending the 21st Annual Velocity Challenge - FIS World Cup Speed Ski Event
• BC Homes Magazine writing a full feature with photos on the Sun Peaks Green Home being constructed on Bella Vista

Summer Planning
Planning is well underway for summer media relations projects. We are diligently updating our story ideas and media kits and are meeting with Tourism British Columbia (TBC) and the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Commission (TOTA) to ensure they are well versed in our summer product and stories.

FAM invitation lists are also being drafted for travel writers and other journalists who have outlets that could leverage the summer products. In addition to regular FAM visits, Tourism Sun Peaks will be putting together and hosting two specialized FAMS through the season, one for the Wine and Culture Festival in July and one for the Porsche Club of America's National Gathering in September.

For further information on the winter season, our summer plans, or if you are interested in reading any of the recent articles on Sun Peaks Resort, please don't hesitate to contact me directly by email.

Please also note, my email address has changed to tspmedia@sunpeaksresort.com.

Kind Regards,

Melanie Simmons
Media Relations Specialist
tspmedia@sunpeaksresort.com

Resort Experience: Snow, Sips, Sumptuous Food and Fun!

Submitted by Jen Barter, Resort Experience Manager

12th Annual Winter Festival of Wine
The 12th Annual Sun Peaks Winter Festival of Wine was huge success! I was delighted to see ticket bookings from Kamloops and the surrounding area, the Lower Mainland and from abroad. The addition of new events this year such as Wild Meats and Wild Wines, the Varietal Showdown and Dinner, Sun Peaks Bartender Mixology Face-Off and the Mixology to Music all proved to be popular with three of the four selling-out! The flagship event of the festival, the Sun Peaks Progressive Tasting consisted of 24 wineries this year and three local artisans (Ken Farrar, Kendra Smith and Sol Metal Designs) who gave demonstrations on their art mediums along the wine tasting route to eager onlookers. I was especially proud of the Taste of Sun Peaks event this year. Eight local food and beverage businesses from Sun Peaks and eight Okanagan wineries took part and set-up their gorgeous displays in the Delta's Ballroom.  Guests mingled and toured at their leisure tasting vendors elegant tapa-style dishes and sipping wine while listening and dancing to the toe-tapping rhythms and vocals of a local two-man band "We Make Music."

The first Sun Peaks Bartender Mixology Face-Off was also a definite crowd pleaser. Four bartenders were paired with four wineries in a challenge to create a unique cocktail that included some element of wine. The bartenders came prepared to WOW the crowd and gain their affection outside on Masa's Bar + Grill's custom-made lighted Ice Bar. Congratulations to Daemon (from Globe Cafe and Tapas) for winning the Judges Award and to Krista (from Masa's Bar + Grill) for winning the Peoples Choice Award!

Sun Peaks Family Games
The 1st Annual Sun Peaks Family Games took place February 12 to 26. From the Opening Ceremony and Torch Parade, to the 3 Peaks Biathlon, Obstacle Cross and Skeleton Race (just to name a few), participants took part in a multitude of family-style games. The top 10 kids and families in each fun-filled game received official Sun Peaks Games medals and the bragging rights that ensued! If you missed out taking part in the games this year, they have been pre-scheduled to take place again in 2011 during President's Week!

Summer Ahead
Mark your calendars to take part in the following upcoming events:
• Canada Day Celebrations (Including Jo's Road Race and Mountain of Beer) - July 3 and 4
• 3rd Annual Wine and Culture Festival (Including Quilting in the Mountains) - July 16 to 18
• BC Family Day Celebrations - July 31 and August 1
• Porsche Club of America National Gathering - September 9 to 12

Details on the 1st Annual Sun Peaks Geocaching Competition/Introductory to Geocaching Weekend and 1st Annual Murder Mystery Weekend will be available soon!

Volunteers
Looking to give back to the community? We are always looking for helpful and enthusiastic individuals to aid with our summer events! If you are interested in lending a hand, please send your contact details to me!

Sincerely,

Jen Barter
Resort Experience Manager
communicationsmgr@sunpeaksresort.com

Buy your summer event tickets now!

On Sale Now (through Central Reservations: 1-800-807-3257)

Quilting in the Mountains
• Trunk Show and Quilters Welcome Dinner (July 16) - $60 +tax
• Asian Fusion (July 17 and 18) - $110 +tax
• Feathered Star (July 17 and 18) - $110 +tax
 o Stay and Quilt Packages available starting at $189/person!

Click here for more information on Quilting in the Mountains.

On Sale Now (through Adventure Centre: 250-578-5542)

Wine and Culture Festival
• Symphony of Flavours (July 16) - $55 +tax
• Art Walk (July 17) - $49 +tax
• Sunburst Salmon BBQ and Quartet Serenade (July 17 at 5pm OR July 18 at 12pm) - $49 +tax
 o Additional event details and tickets available soon!

Click here for more information on the Wine and Culture Festival.

April 10-11:Spring Festival
Celebrate the last weekend of the ski season with the Dummy Downhill, Slush Cup and more!
April 11: Last Day of Winter Operations
The last day of the winter 2009/2010 season.
May 22: Sun Peaks Golf Course Opens
Book a tee time to play a round on the highest elevated course in the province!
June 19: Annual General Meeting
Join TSP as staff present reports and successes from the past year.
June 26: Sunburst Chairlift opens for hiking/biking
Ride the Sunburst Chair into the alpine to hike through wildflowers or pin it in the bike park.
July 3-4: Canada Day Celebrations
Celebrate Canada's birthday with your family at Sun Peaks! Jo's Road Race, Mountain of Beer and more!
July 16-18: Wine and Culture Festival
Book your tickets now! Symphony performances, culinary events, wine tastings, quilt and art shows.
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